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December 08, 2022 01:00 PM UTC

The Tide Swamps Future Republican Hopes in Colorado

  • by: Republican 36

(Interesting analysis — promoted by Colorado Pols)

I took a break over lunch hour and looked at some of the election results here in Colorado. Bottom line: the cracks are in the Republican firmament in Douglas, El Paso and Weld counties. Mesa remains reliably Republican but its significance is declining due to the growth on the Front Range.

Douglas County: Ganahl defeated Polis by less than 1%. Jason Crow won the area of Douglas County in his district. O’Dea defeated Bennett 53% to 45% which is well below par for what Republicans used to win in that county in major statewide races.

El Paso County:  It’s still a Republican county but the margins in the major races are down significantly and the county now has 3 Democratic state representatives and 1 Democrat in the state senate. Ganahl defeated Polis 51% to 47% and O’Dea beat Bennett 53% to 44%. Remember the old days when a major Republican candidate would win El Paso 2 to 1. In 1992, when Gov. Romer ran for his third term, he put 20+ paid campaign staffers into El Paso because he wanted to be the first modern Democrat to win that county. After all that effort, Romer received 35.9% of the vote. Bruce Benson, a flawed candidate, blew Romer out of the water in El Paso. In other words, with urbanization and population growth, El Paso’s bright red is fading to a pale pink.

Weld County:  Weld still looks and votes Republican and will do so for the next few cycles but a closer look shows major shifts have begun, especially in southern Weld along the I-25 corridor. Those areas voted for Biden in 2020 and the same areas voted almost exclusively for Democrats running for the General Assembly this year, plus the eastern half of Greeley has been blue for quite some time. The northern metro suburbs (southern Weld) will continue to grow and the population expansion there is going to eat away at the Republican dominance in that county.

Bottom Line: Two things are going on in Colorado. One, former Republican strongholds, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties have turned absolutely bright blue. Two, except for Mesa, in the remaining large counties (the three above), the Republican Party is slowly losing its grip and even if they continue to vote Republican, the Republican margin of victory will be so thin in those counties that a statewide Democrat will win every time. Unless the Democrats nominate an absolute lunatic, the Republican Party cannot build a coalition that can win major statewide races in Colorado for the foreseeable future. In fact, I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better for the Republicans. Through their silly stupid machinations and positions, they have alienated the vast majority of Colorado voters.


14 thoughts on “The Tide Swamps Future Republican Hopes in Colorado

  1. And did not Douglas County elect its first Democrat since – well, probably forever – to the state House of Representatives?

    It’s also nice to see that 30 years after passage of Amendment Two, El Paso County – the birthplace of that constitutional abomination – gave 47% of its vote to an openly gay man running for governor. Sweet! Will Perkins is probably spinning in his grave!

  2. I think "pale pink" might be a smidge optimistic for El Paso. I'm thinking more "dried blood" red vs. its usual "fresh blood" color.

    It's really hard to use this year's numbers as a trending indicator because the GOP candidates were considerably sub-standard at the statewide level. If they continue to run unelectables for statewide office, then THAT might be the trend to focus on.

    Yes, Mesa County might be becoming mostly irrelevant on a statewide basis, but don't forget it is still the engine that drives CD3. It used be that Mesa and Pueblo mostly canceled each other out and the rest of the district chose the congressperson. But Pueblo is no where near the Dem stronghold it used to be.

  3. I don't think Boebert should be very excited about the close CO-3 results either. Frisch straight up flipped two counties (Alamosa and Huerfano) and made two light blue ones much more Democratic (Pueblo and Garfield).

    I've had multiple friends and acquaintences make the move from Denver to places like Trinidad, Durango and Glenwood Springs. With remote works staying put, lots of people would rather live in the mountains and these knowledge workers don't want to be represented by an obvious idiot like Boebert. 2024 may be the year she's gone for good. 

  4. Republican 36: “through their silly stupid machinations and positions…….”

    Let’s not forget that the Rs almost to a person embraced the religious viewpoint of the religious right: “a fertilized egg is a human person” and “a fetus is a baby.”

    They tuned out the fact that the vast majority of Colorado voters don’t want big government; powered by big religion; trying to intervene in the private affairs of our bedrooms.

    The four anti-abortion ballot initiatives since 2008 lost by an average vote of 67% against and 33% for. “Pro-life,” as defined by the hard core religionists, is not a winner for Rs in Colorado.

    1. The vast majority of Colorado voters do want Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare, and other government programs that provide social insurance and a safety net.

      The vast majority of Republicans do embrace the religious viewpoint of the religious right, and they do want the Government in the bedroom, or even that a woman’s right to an abortion should be decided by her local politicians.

      You cannot win in a Republican primary if you do not hold those positions. 

      1. Disagree. Votes from Dems and unaffiliateds weren’t enough to run up the victory margins on those four ballot initiatives. There are “pro-lifers” in both groups. Lot of Republicans voted against those initiatives.

        1. Agreed there are still a googly number of "do what's good for business and stay out of people's bedroom" Republicans out there. But they are the silent portion of their party, the people who go to work, raise their kids and don ;t have the time or inclination to get involved at the party level. But by gum, they vote!

          1. Yes, Republicans did turn out and they did vote… Just not for MAGA Republicans. Kerry Eleveld, writing for Daily Kos, comments that

            The Times found similar patterns at play in Arizona, where registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats by 9 points, yet incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly handily won reelection. Even the exceedingly less dynamic Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs eked out her bid for governor.

            In Nevada, registered Republicans had a 10-point turnout advantage over registered Democrats in vote-rich Clark County, 67%-57%, strongly suggesting a statewide turnout edge for the GOP. Yet incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto won reelection even as voters narrowly sided with Republican Joe Lombardo for governor over incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak.

            In Georgia, registered Republicans voted in same strength as previous elections, according to Nate Silver and They voted for Brian Kemp, who had defied Trump….but they did not vote for the embarrassing Herschel Walker

            Great diary, R36. .

  5. Great read.  Thank you.  Would you happen to know how this breaks down in certain cities like Parker (where I live), Castle Rock, and Castle Pines as one example? Thanks

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