Tonight, Doug Lamborn won his fifth term in Colorado’s fifth congressional district. With 81.27% of votes in, Democrat Irv Halter conceded the race. Lamborn got 60.19% percent of the vote, compared to Halter’s 39.81%. The outcome is hardly surprising for Colorado’s most conservative district, which hasn’t elected a Democrat since its formation in 1972.
From day one, Halter faced an uphill battle. He had hoped to sway moderate Republicans and independents by condemning Obamacare and Big Government, but his attempts proved futile. In defeat, Halter’s campaign manager, Ethan Susseles, said “As we said from the beginning: party trumps the person.”
With tonight’s loss, Halter now joins fellow retired Air Force Major General Bentley Rayburn on the list of candidates defeated by Doug Lamborn. Rayburn lost by only 5% in the Republican primary this summer. Last cycle, Lamborn’s unaffiliated opponent, Dave Anderson, earned a mere 17.35% percent. In 2010, Lamborn’s opponent, Democrat Kevin Bradley, lost with 29.27% of the vote. Though Halter did lose the race, he came closer to victory than any of his predecessors did.
Colorado College Professor Emeritus of Political Science Bob Loevy commented that “Halter ran in the wrong district and he ran in the wrong election.” The outcome is indicative of larger political trends in the country, Loevy noted: “this wasn’t a good election for Democrats generally [and] certainly not a good night for a Democrat to try and take a heavily Republican seat.”