Get More Smarter: The Big Predictions Thread

With the 2018 elections wrapping up today, here’s our master list of official predictions on the outcome in Colorado. If you’re looking for national predictions, we suggest FiveThirtyEight or your choice of outlets focused on the national map. For the next 24 hours, we’re focused exclusively on the home front.

With that in mind, please refer to this list as you roast your hosts on Wednesday for everything we get wrong:

Governor: Jared Polis will handily win the race for governor. Our previous forecasts had held the prediction of Polis’ win margin below 10% citing a number of factors, but over the past few weeks the climate has only improved for Democrats in Colorado and ballot returns echo this growing confidence. A double-digit Polis win is now a real possibility.

CD-6: After years of trying, Democrats harpoon the proverbial white whale and bring incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman down. Coffman’s ticket-splitting survival strategy of triangulation off his own party was confounded by Donald Trump’s election, and he has been unable to maintain the illusory separation from the GOP brand that kept him in office in a district unsupportive of conservative Republican politics.

CD-3: Despite a spirited campaign by state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, recent polling and anecdotes from the field suggest that incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Tipton will retain his seat and thus serve as the Republican Party’s firewall in Colorado for 2018. This race is a good barometer of the size of a potential “Blue Wave” nationally; if Tipton loses, that means Democrats are wiping out Republicans everywhere.

Colorado House: Democrats are poised to gain seats in the chamber they already control by a comfortable margin.

Colorado Senate: Republicans have poured at least $10 million into preserving their single-seat majority in the Colorado Senate, the only locus of Republican veto power in Colorado state government. Control over the chamber appears to be focusing on the SD-24 race between Republican Beth Martinez Humenik and Faith Winter. This race, and with it control of the Senate, is an absolute toss-up, and we honestly have no idea which way it will fall.

Colorado Attorney General: Phil Weiser appears poised to win this race after an ugly but bumbling negative campaign waged by Republican George Brauchler. Historic frustration for Democrats in this race obliges contained enthusiasm, but this is the constitutional statewide office Democrats feel strongest about flipping (other than Governor, of course).

Colorado Treasurer: Republican Brian Watson’s prodigious baggage has been thoroughly aired in this campaign, combining with high Democratic turnout to inspire a measure of confidence in Democrat Dave Young. We give Young the slight edge.

Colorado Secretary of State: Colorado voters haven’t awarded the top four statewide offices to the same party in more than 20 years. Despite a checkered record as Secretary of State and late-breaking scandals that likely would have sunk his re-election bid had they come out earlier, Wayne Williams is the most likely Republican to win statewide in Colorado this year.

We expect this year’s “alphabet amendments,” Amendments V, W, X, Y, Z, and A to all pass handily, as will the payday loan rate cap Proposition 111Amendment 73, a measure to hike taxes on high-income earners for public education, may outperform previous similar measures that were handily defeated but is still unlikely to pass. Amendment 74, the highly controversial takings measure opposed by basically everyone except the oil and gas industry, is also likely to die–as is Proposition 112, a measure to substantially increase setbacks between new oil and gas drilling and surface development, leaving a status quo ante on the issue for the next governor.

Of the two transportation funding measures, Proposition 109 and Proposition 110, we’d say 109 is the more likely of the two to pass because it promises something for nothing to voters by borrowing money to fix roads (assuming legislators will find cuts in the state’s budget to pay for it). We’re concerned that the work to educate voters on the irresponsibility of 109 versus the responsible pay-fors of 110 has not been sufficient, though the overall confusion with two competing ballot measures could sink both options.

And there you have it, readers! We, like everybody on the ballot, await the judgement of history.


24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Passage of 109 and a Republican Senate is worst possible scenario for higher education.  More asphalt will be paid for by crushing student debt. 

    Colorado once again opts for the middle way — where the roadkill piles up.

  2. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Copied and saved.

  3. Genghis says:

    Jared Polis will be our new governor. The down-ballot state offices will all go GOP, as usual (hoping like hell I'm wrong about this).

    Our U.S. House of Reps delegation will flip from 4-3 GOP to 4-3 Dem.

    We in CD-2 will be the first voters in Colorado history to elect an African-American to federal office. 

    109 and 110 are both bad ideas, but you're probably right about 109 having the better chance of success, which is pretty terrible.

    Can't really imagine 112 passing, given the vast amount of opposition from so many disparate sources.

    I wish I were as confident about 74's failure as you. 

    Nationally, the GOP is virtually certain to retain control of the U.S. Senate and gain at least one seat. That's bad news on multiple levels. I read recently that Trump has already had more federal court of appeals judges confirmed than any other president since the current system went into effect in 1891. That's only gonna get worse. 

    I remain hopeful about Dems retaking the House. That'll determine whether we can slow down the inevitable decline and fall of the U.S.

    • DENependent says:

      I think you will be wrong about the down ballot statewides. Not on all of them necessarily, but I think the Democrats take two out of three. Which ones? Uhhhhh.. Hold please.

      My reasoning is that unless Republicans surge in voting today the Democrats are ahead and the unaffiliated voters will average to a near even split down ballot by only picking one or two Republican candidates as "balance". If the balance votes were evenly distributed this would allow the Dems to win every race by a tight margin. They won't be so the Republicans probably keep one rather like the Democrats managed to get AG in the Bill Owens years.

  4. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    I think we'll get A.G. as Brauchler is damaged goods. But SoS and Treasurer will both go Republican as the negatives on them didn't get much traction.

    BTW – While I would prefer an even-handed Dem as SoS, I think Wayne Williams has been ok.

    Nationally I think we'll likely end up with a 50:50 Senate, losing ND but gaining AZ & NV. If we do get one of ND, TN, or TX my guess is Texas. In ND & TN they're asking Republicans to vote Democratic. In Texas they're asking Democrats to go vote.

    My guess is we gain 45+ house seats – I think it will break late Democratic – mainly from first-time and occasional voters voting.

    Pretty much agree on everything else.

    And I predict my mom wins with 65%.

  5. OpenSpace says:

    Agree on Polis but would not be surprised to see Brauchler win — voters don't understand what the AG does and his tough on crime ads and smack downs on Weiser as just a professor will probably resonate. Weiser's campaign was probably too intellectual.

    I think Jena Griswold, as the only woman on the statewide ballot (not counting LG, and no one counts LG) could be a surprise winner tonight over Williams. 

    Dave Young by 2.

    Crow by 4

    I bet 112 does better than people expect despite all the oil & gas millions. People don't want wells next to their homes and schools, and they know the legislature won't help them and the oil and gas industry doesn't care.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Weiser’s campaign was probably too intellectual.

      I’m reminded of what Adlai Stevenson said when someone told him every intelligent person was going to vote for him. He said, “Madam, I’m afraid that won’t do. I need a majority.”

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        Weiser campaigned like a professor, Brauchler like a street fighter.  If Weiser wins it’s strictly due to the blue wave.

        • Arvadonian1Arvadonian1 says:

          Completely agree.  Weiser should have hit Brauchler for his criminal defense work BEFORE the Republican AGs came after him.  They responded so quickly it was obvious they had the information and simply chose not to use it.  Bad move.  Rule #1 in politics….go after your opponent's strength and turn it into a weakness….Brauchler tried to make his trial experience his defining characteristic…so Weiser should have obliged him by shedding some light on it.

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            agreed…..this has all the trapping of Michael Dukakis taking the high road, ignoring the Bush campaign and letting them define him. We know how that turned out.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Agree on Jena,  Early tallies show more than 50,000 more women voters than men.  Let's see if they stick together.


  6. Diogenesdemar says:


    Regardless of the overall results from any grouping of, or any particular individual, races today, Cheetolini will find justification to become even worse, learn nothing, and grow even more racist, xenophobic, and divisive. . . 

    “ . . . the era of bigly Trumpengovernance is just beginned”

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      The Yam's 2020 re-election campaign begins tomorrow, and he will be even more insufferable. I can almost see him riding the presidential podium like a Segway off of AF1, ala Milissa McCarthy as Spicey.

  7. kickshot says:

    An update to your link:

    Acting on our query to the Denver Elections Division, the Colorado Secretary of State has updated one of their pages to reflect the latest voter registration tally for the City and County of Denver which is now 484,843 registrations.  So that is great news in that the discrepancy is apparently the fault of the lackadaisical attitude of the Colorado Secretary of State regarding accurate election reporting rather than deleted voter registrations.

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