2018 Colorado House Vote Totals

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Much of the attention has been about the 41 seats out of 65 that Democrats captured in the house or the double digit margin of victory for Jared Polis in the governor’s race. A margin of 10.62% is nothing to disparage, but the Democratic victory in the Colorado House of Representatives was even larger. Adding up all the votes for house candidates shows that Democrats won the statewide vote by a margin of 12.27%.

This result shows the power of turn out. There were 27,178 fewer votes for Democratic candidates than they picked up for governor, but the Republicans suffered a down ballot drop-off of 55,036. Put another way Democratic candidates performed 2.01% worse than their candidate for governor, but Republicans performed 5.09% worse. Some of this is Republicans entirely failing to field a candidate in five very blue districts, but looking at similar districts and the lower turn out for the unopposed Democrats it seems likely to me that the Democratic margin would only have been reduced to 11.75% if the Republicans had run in every district.

Because there is no easy way to compare Colorado State Senate districts using the spreadsheet provided by the SoS office I have not tried to do so, but it is interesting that Democrats did not win the same way they did in the house. Is this the power of incumbency? The districts being slightly more conservative? I am not sure. Though it seems likely that when 2022 comes around there will be big state senate gains for Democrats due to redistricting and the large population gains along the front range.

53.42% Democratic 1,348,888
42.80% Republican 1,080,801
2.75%   Libertarian 69,519
1.02%   Unity Party 25,854
Total votes: 2,525,062

State House
54.80% Democratic 1,321,710
42.53% Republican 1,025,765
1.42% Independent 34,298
0.71% Libertarian 17,153
0.50% unaffiliated 12,149
0.04% Unity Party 874
Total votes: 2411949
Total Drop-off: -4.48% : -113,113
Dem Drop-off: -2.01% : -27,178
Rep Drop-off: -5.09% : -55,036

State Senate
50.32% Democratic 608,037
46.75% Republican 564,971
1.98% Libertarian 23,898
0.67% Independent 8,156
0.28% unaffiliated 3,328
Total votes: 1,208,390

Next Time: What the executive races say about how the Democrats did in 2018.


About DENependent

Independent voter interested in the analysis of the "whys" of politics. Resident of Denver, Coloradan since 1980.

5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    State Senate may be harder to quantify since elections for them are staggered.  That, and I think the districts maybe SLIGHTLY more red overall than the house districts.

    As for incumbents, I don't think so.  The 2 seats Dems picked up from Repubs were Republican incumbents losing their reelections.  Badly at that.

    • doremi says:

      Actually, Dems picked up more than 2 seats:

      1) Kyle Mullica ousted Skinny Winkler, a pick-up, but an arguable one as Winkler was the Republican replacement for Democrat Steve Lebsock.  That seat turned R moments before Lebsock was expelled for sexual harrassment.

      2) Tom Sullivan (Centennial) upended incumbent Republican Cole Wist. This seat has never been Democratic.

      3) Brianna Titone in Arvada took the open seat that had been Lang Sias's before he elected to run for Lt. Gov.

      4) Bri Buentello from Pueblo area defeated the Republican Don Bendell.  Bendell had upset incumbent (appointment) Judy Reyhner in the primary.

      5) Lisa Cutter from Evergreen defeated the Republican who replaced Tim Leonard, who decided to not seek re-election as the legislature doesn't pay enough for his child support obligations.

      But most surprising of all to me, is that the Republican party failed to find a candidate to run against Barbara McLachlan in Durango area.  That seat has switched parties every two years for about ten years.  Rep. McLachlan broke the pattern!

      Even more surprising is that the Republican party failed to find a candidate to run against Leroy Garcia of Pueblo.  Trump took the county by five points and they couldn't find anyone???  Why is that???  Give up on a senate seat, when the senate was most in play???  Weird.

       All in all the Republican party was having a hard time in candidate recruitment.  It was obvious during the spring when there were so many potential seats with no R candidate.  Many of those were filled at the last moment, likely by people who were willing to put their names in but didn't have the fire in the belly to do the hard work of campaigning.




  2. Mike W. says:

    I think that can be boiled down to there being more competitive seats up (both competitive in 2018 and seats that were competitive in 2014), and that three of the Republicans areas that grew the most since 2010 (north Springs, Grand Junction, and Highlands Ranch) voted last year. Most of our cores are up next year (FoCo, Boulder, half of Denver, all of blue Aurora), that's where the difference is. 

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