The Big Line: 2018

biglineflag18NOTE: Percentages reflect Colorado Pols’ estimated chances of winning a particular raceNumbers 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 seems to check more boxes than any other candidate at the moment.

(R) Walker Stapleton* (25%)↑
With Tancredo out of the race, Stapleton moves into the top position for GOP.

(R) Victor Mitchell* (15%)
Mitchell has the money and the time — but can he resonate with GOP voters?

(D) Cary Kennedy* (15%)↑
Kennedy keeps turning in solid fundraising quarters, but her campaign is also spending a lot of money.

(D) Mike Johnston* (15%)↓
Johnston is doing well on the fundraising front — though most of it is from out of state.

(R) Cynthia Coffman (10%)↓
After much hand-wringing, Colorado Attorney General finally enters race for Governor. She’s not proving to be a very good candidate in the early stages.

(R) Mitt Romney’s Nephew* (10%)↓
Doug Robinson is quite possibly the whitest man in Colorado. If there is a path for him to win the GOP nomination, we haven’t found it yet.

(D) Donna Lynne* (10%)
Colorado Lieutenant Governor is running even though she promised she wouldn’t. Looks to be the “Chamber of Commerce” candidate.

(D) Noel Ginsburg* (10%)↓
Let’s Not Get Too Excited.”

(R) Lew Gaiter* (5%)
He’s officially seeking the GOP nomination…whoever he is.

(R) Steve Barlock* (5%)



(R) Tom Tancredo (OFF)
Dropped out of race for Governor in late January.

(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) Kent Thiry (OFF)
Disappointing to a few GOP consultants who stood to make lots of money.

(R) George Brauchler (OFF)
Withdrew from race on 11/13 to run for Attorney General.



(D) Phil Weiser* (50%)↑
Weiser was the frontrunner here even before Michael Dougherty bowed out of the race.

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

(D) Joe Salazar* (10%)↑
Salazar doesn’t appear to have the ability to raise enough money to mount much of a challenge to Weiser for Democratic nomination.

(D) Brad Levin* (10%)↑
Sort of the opposite of Salazar; can raise money, but nobody knows who he is.

(D) Amy Padden* (5%)↓
Odds of getting name on Primary ballot increased with Dougherty departure.


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

(D) Michael Dougherty (OFF)
Suspended campaign in early February to focus on securing appointment as Boulder District Attorney.



(R) Polly Lawrence* (25%)↑
Moves to the head of the line with impressive Q3 fundraising performance.

(R) Brian Watson* (25%)↑
Watson won’t have trouble funding this campaign, which gives him automatic edge over every name below.

(R) Brita Horn* (20%)
Routt County Treasurer is top name in second tier.

(D) Dave Young* (20%)↑
Greeley lawmaker is the best option for Democrats in this race.

(R) Justin Everett* (20%)
Sleepy Justin needs to figure out a way to raise money.

(R) Kevin Lundberg* (20%)
Conservative firebrand looking for a new job when he is term-limited from State Senate.

(R) Brett Barkey* (10%)
District Attorney from Hayden, Colorado. We’ll pause here while you look up “Hayden, Colorado” on Google.

(D) Bernard Douthit* (10%)↓
Um, no.

(D) Charles Scheibe* (10%)
Scheibe is apparently Colorado’s “Chief Financial Officer.” So, there’s that.

(D) Steve Lebsock* (0%)↓
Steve Lebsock will be State Treasurer when Brock Osweiler wins a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback.



(R) Wayne Williams* (65%)↓
Doesn’t seem to be particularly engaged in re-election bid thus far.

(D) Jena Griswold* (35%)↑
Griswold is good at raising money, but this would be a tough race for any Democrat.




(D) Diana DeGette* (90%)
DeGette will hold this seat until she decides to do something else.

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



(D) Joe Neguse* (80%)↑
For an open Congressional seat in Colorado, Neguse is about as safe a bet as you can find.

(D) Mark Williams* (10%)
If CD-2 voters are looking for the most “Boulder liberal” candidate in 2018, they just hit the jackpot.

(R) Random Republican Person (5%)
Not many Republican names floating around for CD-2 at the moment.


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

(D) Ken Toltz* (OFF)
“Suspended” campaign in mid-December for family health reasons.



(R) Scott Tipton* (70%)
Tipton won re-election handily in 2016 despite tough opposition.

(D) Diane Mitsch Bush* (30%)↓
If former State Representative wins in 2018, it will have more to do with Democratic wave than anything else.

(D) Karl Hanlon* (10%)
Mitsch Bush hasn’t exactly locked down the Democratic nomination, but she’s no Karl Hanlon.


(D) Chris Kennedy (OFF)
Dropped out of race in December.



(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.

(D) Karen McCormick* (10%)↑
Appears to be the most likely Democrat to ultimately lose in November 2018.

(D) Chase Kohne* (5%)
Kohne and McCormick are both veterinarians, FWIW.




(R) Doug Lamborn* (50%)↓
Controversy over stock purchases could be fodder enough to cost him this seat in ’18, but Lamborn has survived many challenges before.

(R) Owen Hill* (25%)
State Senator failed to impress in Q3 fundraising reports, but anti-Lamborn money probably would come later anyway.

(R) Darryl Glenn* (25%)
The Unicorn returns!



(R) Mike Coffman* (60%)↓
Nobody changes his stripes as often as Coffman. Of course, nobody keeps running into problems as often as Coffman, either.

(D) Jason Crow* (30%)↑
Crow starting to separate from rest of Democratic pack with strong fundraising and growing list of Democratic endorsements.

(R) Roger Edwards* (20%)
This is certainly not a good year for an incumbent Republican to face a Primary challenge, no matter the candidate.

(D) Levi Tillemann* (5%)
Not doing enough to be considered anything more than a spoiler.

(D) David Aarestad* (5%)
Unfortunately for this little-known Democrat, the ballot isn’t printed in alphabetical order.



(D) Ed Perlmutter* (90%)
Perlmutter has never won this seat by less than double digits, and that won’t likely change in 2018.

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



Colorado Republicans threw everything they had into keeping their one-seat majority in 2016…and just barely held onto that one-seat advantage. They’ve got an uphill battle in 2018.

A Democratic wave year in 2018 will make re-taking the majority much easier.



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. But at least they have Judy Reyher!



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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