Hickenlooper Survives 2014 Democratic Bloodbath

UPDATE: In a message to supporters a short while ago, Republican Bob Beauprez concedes defeat:

This is a different message to share with you than we had hoped. We have been watching the results as votes continue to be counted and unfortunately at this point, even with a handful of counties still reporting, there just aren't enough options to get us across the finish line.

I just spoke with Governor Hickenlooper. We had a good conversation and I congratulated him on a hard fought race.


Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Moments ago, The Denver Post called the Colorado gubernatorial race for incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper:

Gov. John Hickenlooper is projected to hold his office, according to calculations by The Denver Post on Wednesday morning.

With 93 percent of votes counted as of about 7:20 a.m., Hickenlooper is leading Bob Beauprez, a Republican, by roughly 22,000 votes. Votes are still being tallied in predominantly Democratic Boulder and Denver counties.

Hickenlooper holds 48.3 percent of the vote while Beauprez is trailing with 47.1 percent.

As Election Day turned to Wednesday, Democratic strongholds in Denver and Boulder still had tens of thousands of votes left to count. Swing-state counties and GOP holdouts, meanwhile, had far fewer ballots left for Beauprez to make gains.

Outgoing GOP Secretary of State Scott Gessler says in this story there is a "strong likelihood" of a recount, but at present that would not be automatic: it would be up to Bob Beauprez's campaign to pay for it unless the margin drops to under half a percent. While we wouldn't put that past Beauprez, the numbers just don't appear to be there for a recount to close the margin.

With Hickenlooper's apparent narrow victory over Beauprez, along with the defeat of both 2013 Republican recall election winners by Democrats in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, there's an interesting sidenote forming to what was undeniably a terrible night for Democrats in Colorado and across the nation. We have a lot of analysis coming on this election, but we'll start our readers off this Wednesday morning with an observation: that the gun lobby, for all of their agitation over the past two years, didn't factor much last night.

On a day when many, many Republican votes are cast, Beauprez's defeat after another of his now-trademark over-the-top negative campaigns is a repudiation of that style of politics as well–in stark contrast to the indestructible beatific grin that helped Cory Gardner become our state's junior U.S. Senator. It's very clear that campaign tactics in Colorado are going to change after this election on both sides; and we would regard the universal disavowal of blatant mendacious fearmongering in our politics as a positive development.

And congratulations to Gov. Hickenlooper, perhaps the happiest Democrat in America today.

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. nota33 says:

    That's good news. Gun nuts George Rivera and Bernie Herpin got thrown out of office. Bernie Herpin who got his seat because of a recall about gun control was defeated by a gun control activist who used to work for mayors against illegal guns. 😉



    • BlueCat says:

      That's good news and I'm so relieved that we were spared having a Governor who is essentially a male Sarah Palin. That was a close one. In the final days it seemed  increasingly unlikely that we'd escape the 6 year itch Senate swap but it's not as if anything was getting accomplished when we had a small majority and the Rs can't push anything crazy through with theirs. But BWB for Guv? Unthinkable.

      Really too bad Romanoff wasn't running in 2012 because it seems pretty clear that in a year where a Miklosi only lost by 2 points he could have won. Now he's a two time loser, against Bennet in the Senatorial primary and a run for the House, so where does he go from here in politics? Probably nowhere. But hindsight's 20/20 and all that. 

      Udall's campaign was so awful and tone deaf it's no wonder he lost, even to a sponsor of federal personhood in a state where personhood was once again resoundingly defeated and an enthusiastic supporter of the government shut down and of the endless time wasting attempts to repeal ACA, all of which was deplored by the paper that endorsed him as a champion for ending Senate dysfunction(?).

      If I found the Udall campaign's endless abortion ads exasperating it's no wonder low info middle of the roaders were completely turned off. But having a dim witted tin foil hat flake for Governor would have been absolutely heart breaking. Thank heaven for small favors, even as small as hanging on to Republican lite Hick by the skin of our teeth.  Whew!

      And thanks to all who worked so hard for Dem candidates and to inspire unenthusiastic Dem leaning demos to get out there and vote. Valiant Colorado volunteers were the ones who had a clue as compared to our sorry Dem leadership and arrogant imported political ops who, as usual, wouldn't listen to us bumpkins because they knew better what works in fly over Colorado than we do. Yeah, right.

      Too bad. Too sad. All we can do is regroup and move on to the next thing.

      • The realist says:

        Valiant Colorado volunteers were the ones who had a clue as compared to our sorry Dem leadership and arrogant imported political ops who, as usual, wouldn't listen to us bumpkins because they knew better what works in fly over Colorado than we do. Yeah, right.

        Absolutely agree. We've seen this lethal problem in several recent election years. What will it take to get the attention of Dem leaders in Colorado who cannot "see" west of our fourteeners or south of Monument Hill? Some non-Front-Range Dems have already given up and left the Party – how many more will leave?


      • debbielynnepaint says:

        I agree with everything you said Blue Cat.  I'd also add that I'm glad "Personhood 
        Failed" again.

  2. Andrew Carnegie says:

    So did the R's win the House and Senate?  If so, it should be interesting.

    • ZMulls says:

      Looks like they didn't, at this point–although Rs taking the CO Senate might still happen.

      • JeffcoDemo says:

        I know Rivera and Herpin cancel out Zenzinger and Nicholson, I know Jahn and her commanding lead of 31 votes lead won't be decided for weeks.  What other senate races should I be watching right now and how are they going?

        I can't seem to find a breakdown on any of our stellar news outlets, thanks in advance.

      • Wong21fr says:

        Don't look now, but the GOP may have taken both the State Senate and House with a one vote advantage in each.


        Time for a recall effort in JeffCo by the Dems to keep the shenanigans going.

    • Progressicat says:

      Right now, most likely is R 18-17 in the senate and D 33-32 in the house.  Wouldn't want to be on the kill committees.  This would actually be great news for Hick and any future political office aspirations he has.  Nothing controversial will make it to his desk.

    • OrangeFree says:

      I imagine it will be very much like first two years of Hick's term (minus the end of the 2012 session). Calm and quite, not much controversial passed. Lots of get along to go along. 

  3. ZMulls says:

    Didn't take the House, that is.  Might be a while before we know re:  CO Senate.

  4. zenarcade says:

    I think the only reason Hick won, despite not deserving another term, was that Beauprez was recognized as being even worse. 

    • gaf says:

      When Hickenlooper ran four years ago, I said (1) he would win, (2) he was far better than the alternatives in the race, and (3) I would be mad at him a lot. He did, he was and I was. I am sure I will continue to be mad at him frequently–but he is incredibly better than the alternative.

    • Davie says:

      Kyle Saunders, quoted in the Denver Post agrees:

      Saunders credited Gardner for running on a more moderate message. Beauprez pressed a hardcore conservative message throughout the race.

      "I think it says a lot about politics in a purple state," Saunders said. "Candidates who position themselves in the middle of the electorate are better positioned to win a purple state. It's not rocket science."


      And every certainly agrees Boopray is no rocket scientist.

      Gardner obviously ran a smart, but as Laura Chapin said, "the most cynically dishonest" campaign.  

      That's the GOP for you, lowering the bar where ever they go.

  5. ZMulls says:

    Also, I think–with absolutely no data to back this up–that Udall committed one of the few unforgiveable sins in politics:  he came across as boring.  Hickenlooper did not commit this sin.

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    So Hick' survived the Colorado down ballot bloodbath he shares very much of the responsibility for?

    "Well, golly, spank me and call me Molly . . . "

    • OrangeFree says:

      You can't blame Hick for the bloodbath. He showed, once again, that he is a different political animal then the rest of the political class. 

      What hurt Democrats last night was the disaster of a Udall campaign. Honestly – even with a strong challenge from someone like Gardner, this was a very winnable race. I hope his campaign staff never works in this state again. 

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        The problem with Hickenlooper is that as the face of his party he provides his party with no issues whatsoever on which to run.  You can't run a campaign as, "I'm another goofy, likeable guy (gal), too," or "You should vote for me, because I'm also not Bob Beauprez."

  7. Dan_Slater says:



    I don't know if anybody's put the details up here yet; I didn't see it. From what I can tell, both chambers of the legislature are still in doubt.

    In the State Senate, it looks like we are waiting on four races: 16, 20, 22, and 5. Ds lead in all but SD 16, but we have to run the table and win all four to keep control of the Senate. The good news is that we are waiting on Boulder County in 16. I can't tell if all of the votes are in in 20 and 22 — the D lead in 20 is only 31 votes. In SD5, I think we have that, because we are only waiting on votes in Gunnison County, where the D is in the lead.

    In the House, there are three races that I see that will dictate control of the House. The winner of two of the three races will control the House – HD3, HD36, and HD59. The keys here are whether all of the Arapahoe votes have come in — the Post says no, but I can't tell from the SOS and Arapahoe county whether that is true. Right now the Rs lead in two of the three races. What this may come down to is 2,000 ballots to be counted today in Gunnison County — they estimate that they will have the results by 1:00 this afternoon. Right now, we are down in HD59, and Gunnison has been voting Dem for most races, but the R is leading in Gunnison County's voting so far, so I don't know if that is good for the Ds or not.

    Probably one of the most depressing things of these three HD races, if the results hold up in Arapahoe County, is the defeat of Rep. Kagan. If any legislator deserves to win re-election, Rep. Kagan does. 

  8. FrankUnderwood says:

    So Both Ways is refusing to concede?  Classy as usual.

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