The Big Line: 2018

biglineflag18NOTE: Percentages reflect Colorado Pols’ estimated chances of winning the General ElectionNumbers 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%)↑
Polis still seems to check more boxes than any other candidate at the moment.

(D) Cary Kennedy* (30%)↑
Big victory at state assembly gives her new momentum heading into final two months before Primary. Unclear if she’ll have resources to compete with Polis and Johnston once the TV ads start flying.

(R) Walker Stapleton* (30%)↓
Staggered onto the ballot with all the grace of an inebriated hippopotamus. Still GOP frontrunner, but he’s been badly wounded.

(R) Victor Mitchell* (20%)↑
Mitchell has the money and the time — and now he’s officially on the ballot.

(R) Mitt Romney’s Nephew* (20%)↑
Doug Robinson is on the ballot after an initial hiccup with his petition signatures.

(D) Mike Johnston* (15%)
Still raising good money and officially on the ballot, but no indication that he’s picking up any momentum among likely Primary voters.

(R) Greg Lopez* (10%)↑
Made it onto Primary ballot by “not being Walker Stapleton” at GOP assembly. No real path for him to win nomination.

(D) Donna Lynne* (10%)↓
Managed to get her name on the June Primary ballot, but this ship is sinking fast.



(R) Cynthia Coffman (OFF)
We’ve been saying it for months — she’s really terrible at this. Earning just 5% of delegate support at state assembly is downright embarrassing.

(R) Barry Farah* (OFF)
Well, that was fun — a full three weeks of absolute blah, culminating in nothingburger showing at state assembly.

(R) Steve Barlock* (OFF)
Talk of strong showings at straw polls never translated to support from GOP delegates.

(R) Lew Gaiter* (OFF)
We didn’t really know who he was when he was still a candidate. Didn’t make ballot at assembly.




(D) Phil Weiser* (50%)↑
Weiser has been a fundraising machine, and strong support at assembly shows he can rally grassroots base as well.

(R) George Brauchler* (30%)
Brauchler hoping that AG race isn’t as difficult as running for Governor.

(D) Joe Salazar* (20%)↑
Salazar managed to make the Primary ballot through the assembly — but can he scrape up the resources to run a competitive race from here?


(D) Brad Levin* (OFF)
Did not collect enough petition signatures for ballot access.

(D) Amy Padden* (OFF)
Withdrew from race on April 24.

(R) Cynthia Coffman (OFF)
Running for Governor in 2018.

(D) Michael Dougherty (OFF)
Appointed Boulder District Attorney in March; now campaigning for election in November.



(R) Brian Watson* (30%)↑
Sued his way onto Primary ballot, where his personal wealth gives him huge advantage.

(D) Dave Young* (30%)↑
Greeley lawmaker is the best option for Democrats in this race; will be top-line on Primary ballot.

(R) Polly Lawrence* (30%)↑
Obviously would have preferred not running against Watson, but there are also advantages to a three-way Primary.

(R) Justin Everett* (30%)↑
Sleepy Justin has no money, but he can rally the base; big question is whether he can raise enough money to be relevant with other Republican voters.

(D) Bernard Douthit* (20%)↑
Give him credit — he scrapped out a place on the Primary ballot through the state assembly. But getting in front of a much larger universe of voters will be tough.


(R) Kevin Lundberg* (OFF)
Failed to make ballot through state assembly.

(R) Brett Barkey* (OFF)
Failed to make ballot through state assembly.

(R) Brita Horn* (OFF)
Failed to make ballot via state assembly.

(D) Charles Scheibe* (OFF)
Didn’t make the ballot. Wasn’t going to make the ballot.

(D) Steve Lebsock* (OFF)
We don’t need to tell you what happened here.



(R) Wayne Williams* (65%)↓
Spending most of his time lately making mockery of petition guidelines for ballot access.

(D) Jena Griswold* (35%)↑
Griswold is good at raising money, but this would be a tough race for any Democrat. If Williams keeps screwing up at his current pace, however, all bets are off.




(D) Diana DeGette* (70%)↓
DeGette’s in trouble. She might have fallen asleep at the wheel at the wrong time.

(D) Saira Rao* (30%)↑
On the ballot and has real money in her campaign account, and even garnered more than 30% at district assembly.

(R) Casper Stockham* (1%)↓
This yammering twit is back again in 2018.



(D) Joe Neguse* (85%)↑
Overwhelming support from CD-2 assembly. Neguse will win the Primary and will have no trouble in a General Election.

(D) Mark Williams* (10%)
The most “Boulder liberal” candidate in 2018 made the ballot — but only because of petitions.

(R) Peter Yu* (5%)
It ain’t happening.


(D) Jared Polis (OFF)
Running for Governor in 2018.



(R) Scott Tipton* (70%)↓
Tipton won re-election handily in 2016 despite tough opposition, but a big blue wave is coming.

(D) Diane Mitsch Bush* (30%)↑
Made top line on ballot through district assembly. Odds are improving as general political climate gets better and better for Democrats.

(D) Karl Hanlon* (20%)↑
Hanlon’s on the ballot via the district assembly, but that was the easy part.

(D) Arn Menconi* (5%)
Former Green Party guy and perennial candidate. Not serious.



(R) Ken Buck* (80%)↓
Buck is (probably) safe here. It would take a blue wave of unprecedented proportions to likely cause Buck trouble.

(D) Chase Kohne* (10%)↑
Solidly outperformed McCormick at district assembly, but unclear what he has left in the tank.

(D) Karen McCormick* (10%)↑
Falls just slightly below Kohne because of district assembly results for now, but might ultimately be the better Primary candidate.





(R) Doug Lamborn* (60%)↑
Lamborn’s on-again, off-again relationship with Primary ballot ends with his name on the ballot once more. Incumbency makes him the favorite.

(R) Owen Hill* (20%)↓
Was the likely nominee with Lamborn off the ballot, but not anymore.

(R) Darryl Glenn* (20%)↑
Glenn needed Lamborn on the ballot; odds of winning a three-way race much better than a  head-to-head with Hill.

(D) Stephany Rose Spaulding* (5%)
This just isn’t winnable for Democrats.

(R) Bill Rhea* (5%)
Fourth Republican on Primary ballot won’t win, but can he draw off significant number of votes from someone else?

(R) Tyler Stevens* (5%)
Stevens and Rhea will likely compete for fourth place in GOP Primary.



(R) Mike Coffman* (55%)↓
Nobody changes his stripes as often as Coffman. Of course, nobody keeps running into problems as often as Coffman, either.

(D) Jason Crow* (45%)↑
Momentum has found a home in Crow’s campaign.

(D) Levi Tillemann* (10%)
Made the ballot via CD-6 assembly. The end is near.


(D) David Aarestad* (OFF)
Dropped out in March and endorsed Crow.

(R) Roger Edwards* (OFF)
Failed to make Primary ballot.



(D) Ed Perlmutter* (90%)
Should mark eighth consecutive cycle with double-digit margin of victory.

(R) Mark Barrington* (2%)
At least Barrington understands that he has absolutely no chance here.



Colorado Republicans threw everything they had into keeping their majority in 2016…and just barely held onto that one-seat advantage. Good news for GOP: They don’t have many tough seats to defend this time around.

A Democratic wave year in 2018 will make re-taking the majority much easier, though the field of competitive races is down to a mere handful across the state.



In a tough 2016 for Democrats, they still picked up 3 more seats. Imagine what they’ll do in a wave year with a candidate in every single House seat (Republicans, by contrast, only found candidates in about half of 2018 races).

Republicans couldn’t make headway in 2014 or 2016, and they won’t run anything close to a full slate in 2018. Victory for GOP in ‘18 would be only losing a couple of races.



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.

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