Editor's note: Scroll to the bottom for an interactive map of the unofficial results for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District
Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert clung to a slim lead over Democratic challenger Adam Frisch on Thursday as counties in Colorado's sprawling 3rd Congressional District continued to count ballots.
As of 11:12 p.m. on Thursday, Boebert had 162,040 votes to Frisch's 160,918 — a difference of 1,122 votes, or 0.34% of the 322,958 tallied so far.
The GOP incumbent had gained slightly more ground since overtaking her Democratic challenger this morning — from fewer than 400 votes to now more than 1,000.
"Winning," Boebert declared on Twitter earlier in the day, when new vote totals from Pueblo County posted and pushed her into the lead.
Winning!— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) November 10, 2022
Frisch consistently led Boebert throughout Tuesday night's initial count, but the race tightened considerably on Wednesday.
At 11:30 a.m., the race had narrowed to a lead of 2,449 votes for Frisch, with Boebert gaining roughly 1,000 votes on her rival with each update. A 1:13 p.m. update momentarily stopped the bleeding for Frisch. At that time, Boebert still gained ground but only picked up 95 votes.
As of 9:17 p.m. Wednesday, Frisch led by a mere 64 votes.
Since then, subsequent updates have seen Boebert maintain her lead.
Several thousand ballots still remained to be counted in the district, and voters have until Nov. 16 to "cure" ballots rejected due to signature or ID issues. In addition, clerks are awaiting the arrival of an unknown number of ballots cast by military and overseas voters, which will be counted if they're postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day and received by Nov. 16.
Under Colorado law, an automatic recount will be triggered if the margin between the two candidates is 0.5% or less of the leading candidate's vote total. Candidates must pay for any recounts when the difference between the top two finishers exceeds that threshold.
While the number will increase as more votes are added to Boebert's and Frisch's totals, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday the difference between the two would have to be 802 votes or fewer to trigger an automatic recount in the 3rd CD race.
The unexpectedly competitive race pits Colorado's most prominent Republican politician against the wealthy former Aspen City Council member in the Western Slope-based district, which has been represented by Republicans since 2011.
While most national election forecasters rated the seat as safely Republican, Frisch released internal polling a month ago that showed the race in a statistical dead heat, with the incumbent pulling 47% support to his 45% and another 7% undecided.
A regular on cable news shows and conservative podcasts, Boebert is among the most vocal members of the House Freedom Caucus and a vigorous defender of former President Donald Trump.
The more measured Frisch slams what he terms Boebert's "angertainment" approach to politics.
Boebert has drawn attention and sparked outrage on the left and the right since she upset five-term U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton last cycle in the Republican primary before going on to win election by 6 points in the GOP-leaning district.
Following redistricting, the 3rd CD's partisan make-up shifted slightly to the right, favoring Republican candidates by about 9 percentage points.
The district covers 27 counties on the Western Slope and across Southern Colorado, including Pueblo County and the San Luis Valley. The largest cities in the mostly rural district are Pueblo, Grand Junction, Montrose and Durango.
Frisch, who describes himself as a centrist and has taken a handful of positions at odds with national Democrats, mostly on energy-related and fiscal matters, emerged from a three-way primary with the narrowest of wins, prevailing by fewer than 300 votes.
Boebert, meanwhile, fended off a primary challenge from state Sen. Don Coram, a Montrose rancher, by a two-to-one margin.
Last month, Coram endorsed Frisch, drawing a censure from his local county Republican Party.
Frisch maintains that the Republicans and unaffiliated voters who voted against Boebert in the primary will add up to what could be this cycle's biggest surprise in Colorado, though Boebert and her campaign contends district residents are more than happy with the job she's doing.
Through the Oct. 19 pre-election fundraising period, Frisch had raised nearly what Boebert banked for her campaign over almost two years, with the Democrat posting $5.2 million to the incumbent's $6.7 million. According to the filing, Frisch has outspent Boebert by roughly $100,000 since Labor Day.
Editor's note: This is a developing story that will be updated.
Colorado Politics' Marianne Goodland contributed to this report.