NOTE: Percentages reflect Colorado Pols’ estimated chances of winning a particular race. Numbers are not intended to estimate final margin of victory.
Candidates with an asterisk (*) are officially running, or widely presumed to be running.
(D) Jared Polis* (50%)↑
With Perlmutter out of the race, Polis jumps to the head of the line.
(R) Victor Mitchell* (25%)↑
Mitchell has the money and the time to hold this spot at least until Walker Stapleton enters the race.
(R) Walker Stapleton* (20%)
State Treasurer a sure bet to enter race by the end of Summer.
(D) Cary Kennedy* (15%)↑
Solid Q2 fundraising effort gives Kennedy some much-needed momentum.
(R) George Brauchler* (15%)↓
Brauchler is fading fast.
(R) Mitt Romney’s Nephew* (15%)
Doug Robinson is quite possibly the whitest man in Colorado.
(D) Mike Johnston* (15%)↓
Johnston had better chance here with both Polis and Perlmutter in the race.
(D) Noel Ginsburg* (10%)↓
He’s running a real campaign and raising real money, but this just seems too far out of reach.
(R) Kent Thiry (10%)
Lots of GOP consultants stand to make lots of money if DaVita CEO gets in the race.
(R) Cynthia Coffman (10%)
Sounds more and more likely to run here rather than seek re-election as Attorney General.
(R) Lew Gaiter* (10%)
He’s officially seeking the GOP nomination…whoever he is.
(R) Steve Barlock* (10%)
(D) Ed Perlmutter (OFF)
Withdrew from race in July 2017.
(D) Ken Salazar (OFF)
Announced on March 23 that he would not run for Governor.
(R) Cynthia Coffman* (50%)↓
Coffman looks more and more likely to run for Governor instead of re-election.
(D) Phil Weiser* (40%)↑
Impressive quarterly fundraising numbers give Weiser a big boost here.
(D) Michael Dougherty* (25%)
The most experienced prosecutor of the bunch, but will that matter to voters?
(R) Ken Buck (25%)↑
Greeley Congressman is talking about making a bid for AG if Coffman indeed decides to run for Governor instead.
(D) Joe Salazar* (10%)↓
Absolutely brutal Q2 fundraising an ominous sign for Salazar.
(D) Brad Levin* (10%)↑
He can apparently raise decent money, FWIW.
(D) Stan Garnett (OFF)
After taking long look at the race, Garnett passed on 2018.
(R) Brita Horn* (20%)
Route County Treasurer gets the nod here mostly by default.
(R) Justin Everett* (20%)
Sleepy Justin needs to figure out a way to raise money.
(D) Steve Lebsock* (20%)
It’s hard to see how Lebsock gets any traction in this race.
(R) Polly Lawrence* (20%)
State Rep. is most recent candidate here.
(R) Brian Watson (20%)
We’ll move him back near the top if he actually runs; might be the only candidate who can raise any money.
SECRETARY OF STATE
(R) Wayne Williams* (70%)
Williams could have a long road convincing voters that 2016 election problems have been properly addressed.
(D) Jena Griswold* (30%)
Williams’ boneheaded response to Trump election fraud inquiry provides a new opening for a challenger.
(D) Diana DeGette* (90%)
DeGette will hold this seat until she decides to do something else.
(D) Joe Neguse* (65%)
Former CU Regent, SOS candidate looks like the early favorite here. More challengers likely.
(R) B.J. Nikkel (35%)
Not many Republican names floating around for CD-2 at the moment.
(D) Jared Polis (OFF)
Running for Governor in 2018.
CD-3 (WESTERN & SOUTHERN COLO.)
(R) Scott Tipton* (70%)
Tipton won re-election handily in 2016 despite tough opposition.
(R) Diane Mitsch Bush* (30%)
That’s Mitsch Bush (two words, no hyphen — we checked twice). If former state Rep. wins in 2018, it will have more to do with Democratic wave than anything else.
CD-4 (NORTHEAST-ISH COLORADO)
(R) Ken Buck* (90%)
Buck is safe if he runs for re-election, but he’s talking about a bid for Attorney General if Coffman steps aside.
CD-5 (COLORADO SPRINGS)
(R) Doug Lamborn* (50%)↓
Lamborn can’t seem to make it through an election cycle without drawing a primary opponent, but nobody has really come close to beating him in his 10+ years in Congress.
(R) Owen Hill* (25%)
State Senator the latest Republican to attempt to knock off Lamborn in GOP Primary. Hard to see how he can be the first to succeed.
(R) Darryl Glenn* (25%)
The Unicorn returns! But this time, he has a (somewhat) realistic chance of winning.
(R) Mike Coffman* (70%)
Democrats are probably done expending serious resources against Coffman after another big victory in 2016.
(D) Jason Crow* (20%)
If this seat is truly winnable for Democrats, Crow projects to be a strong contender. At the very least, Crow seems to have Coffman camp worried.
(D) Levi Tillemann* (5%)
Everybody into the pool!
(D) David Aarestad* (5%)
Unfortunately for this little-known Democrat, the ballot isn’t printed in alphabetical order.
CD-7 (JEFFERSON COUNTY)
(D) Andy Kerr* (40%)↓
Didn’t get off to a great start in raising money, but still the best-known name in the bunch for the bulk of the district’s population.
(D) Brittany Pettersen* (35%)↑
Big winner in fundraising after Q2 gives her a big boost.
(R) Libby Szabo (20%)
Jefferson County Commissioner perhaps best-known GOP elected official in district.
(D) Dominick Moreno* (15%)
Hard to see how Moreno can win a Jefferson County-heavy district with no real name ID or support within Jefferson County.
(R) Don Ytterberg (15%)
Former chair of Jefferson County Republican Party probably runs here.
(R) Don Rosier (10%)
Can’t do worse than his half-assed bid for U.S. Senate in 2016.
(R) Jerry Natividad (10%)
Did better than Rosier as Senate candidate in 2016…but not much.
(D) Ed Perlmutter (OFF)
Perlmutter will not be a candidate for office in 2018.
STATE SENATE MAJORITY
Colorado Republicans threw everything they had into keeping their one-seat majority in 2016…and still only held onto a one-seat majority. The GOP won’t be so focused in 2018.
Too early to call either side here, but hard to see Republicans barely barring the door for a third straight cycle.
STATE HOUSE MAJORITY
In a tough 2016 for Democrats, they still picked up 3 more seats.
Republicans couldn’t make headway in 2014 or 2016, so no reason to think 2018 will be any different.
The “Big Line” and its contents are the exclusive creation of Colorado Pols and will be updated as conditions change prior to the 2018 General Election. It is an accurate, if unscientific, look at the races from insider perspectives from both parties. It does NOT reflect who we might like to see win, but reflects who has the best chance to win a General Election based on inside information and our analysis of that information.
Usage allowed with credit to ColoradoPols.com.