Rep. Lauren Boebert’s control of Colorado’s 3rd congressional district did not seem in doubt heading into last year’s midterm elections, but in the end, the lawmaker who earned a national reputation as a combative member of the movement ” Make America Great Again” (“Let’s make America great again”) won re-election by just 564 votes.
“This seemed like a sure thing for a Republican candidate, the way the district is designed,” said Don Coram, a former state senator who lost to Boebert in the Republican primary last June.
Boebert’s narrow victory was emblematic of the difficulties Republicans faced in 2022 and could face again in 2024. Although former President Donald Trump maintains control over much of the GOP base, there is a notable minority of Republican voters who are not They consider themselves members of MAGA, referring by their initials to the “Make America Great Again” movement.
Most of them, as loyal Republicans, endorsed the party’s 2022 candidates, according to AP VoteCast. However, the extensive national survey reveals that these Republicans make up a larger percentage of those who chose not to support a candidate in House races. Some of them showed their opposition to Trump for the second time, supporting Democrat Joe Biden for the presidency in 2020 and Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives in 2022.
In a political climate where competitive elections gain national notoriety and are decided by narrow margins, no party can take these voters for granted.
Democrat Adam Frisch said he knew there was a “quite unique” opening for a more conservative Democrat to connect with Colorado voters who didn’t like Boebert’s aggressive political style.
“I spent a good part of my life trying to convince people that it was a safe enough option, not just to leave their ballot blank, but to vote non-Republican for the first time or the first time in a long time.” said Frisch, who has already announced that he will run again in 2024.
The results suggest Democrats should also be careful about messaging against “MAGA Republicans,” whom Biden repeatedly criticized ahead of the November election and is poised to do so again in a 2024 campaign. Most of those who don’t identify with the movement do not seem to find it convincing. Voters who do so could return to a Republican candidate who represents his traditional conservative values.
Republican strategist Alex Conant suggested that Republican candidates cannot count on these voters as long as Trump is involved in politics. But 2024 may be different.
“There’s no reason the 2024 Republican nominee couldn’t build a coalition that includes Trump’s base and moderate and independent Republicans,” he said.