With all the votes counted in CO-03, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) has 163,832 (50.08%) to 163,278 (49.92%) for Democratic challenger Adam Frisch. And so, Frisch has conceded. In his statement, he said:
The likelihood of this recount changing more than a handful of votes is very small. Very, very small. It'd be disingenuous and unethical for us or any other group to continue to raise false hope and encourage fundraising for a recount. Colorado elections are safe, accurate, and secure. Please save your money for your groceries, your rent, your children, and for other important causes and organizations. I just got off the phone with Rep. Boebert. I called her to formally concede this election.
Statements like this one used to be a given. Not so much these days.
Why did Frisch throw in the towel so readily? Well, to start with, he's right. There's very little chance that a recount will change the outcome. Recall that the most famous recent recount win was in 2008 in Minnesota. In that case, about 5 million votes were cast, the margin was .01%, and the recount shifted a grand total of 440 votes (-215 for Republican Norm Coleman, +225 for Democrat Al Franken). In CO-03, the margin is 16 times as large by percentage (.16%) and the number of votes is 94% fewer. A flip just isn't happening. So, perhaps Frisch is a public-spirited fellow who saw the opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons and make a statement about the importance of accepting defeat in a democracy.
That said, there's a very good chance that Frisch's statement is also a calculated political move, at least in part. He's 55, and young enough to return in 2024 for another shot at Boebert's seat, or to make a run for governor once Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) is term-limited in 2026. Appearing to be a gracious loser might win him a few more supporters. Further, under the terms of Colorado law, there will be a recount regardless of what Frisch says. And if it does somehow flip the result, his concession is not legally binding. So there's no real downside to his conceding graciously.
As to Boebert, she nearly lost her seat despite being in a red district (R+6), having the advantages of incumbency, and running in an environment favorable to Republicans. It certainly appears to be another illustration of how everyone except the Trumpy voters does not much care for Trumpy candidates. Will Boebert learn something from this and perhaps distance herself a bit from the former president? We doubt it, although she really should consider it. If Frisch returns for another go-round in 2024, he won't be a relative unknown anymore, and he'll raise millions from hopeful Democrats across the nation. He will also benefit from an environment that should be more favorable to Democrats. So, she might not be so lucky next time if she stays on her current course. (Z)