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October 05, 2016 10:41 AM UTC

Dems Surpass Republicans In Independent-Plurality Colorado

  • by: Colorado Pols

istock_000073474217_large-eAs the Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins reports, it’s a milestone not seen by very many in Colorado politics today–and for the younger members of the political class, not even in their lifetimes:

With two weeks until ballots drop in Colorado, new voter registration data show there are more registered Democrats than Republicans here for the first time in three decades.

According to the Oct. 1 figures from the Secretary of State’s office, Colorado has 5,901 more active Democratic voters than Republicans statewide.

That’s a big jump in just the past month.

In September, Dems were still trailing active registered Republican voters here by about 3,000. In the past 30 days they closed the gap — and then some.

What we’re seeing here, in addition to the natural spike in political interest in a major election year, is the fruits of Democratic field campaigns operating out of dozens of offices across the state and coordinated with candidates at every level from county and statehouse to the presidential race. By all accounts Republicans are distantly behind Democrats in field organizing efforts this year, a reflection of Donald Trump’s apparent disregard for the importance of field campaigns. While independent voters remain the largest segment of the electorate in Colorado, this Democratic surge in voter registration is a good indicator that their get-out-the-vote plan is gaining momentum. The Democratic edge in active voters in Colorado should scare the crap out of Republicans.

It’s hard to say just how big a difference the evident disparity between the parties’ field efforts will make on Election Day. But if you’re among the many in this business who swear by the adage that “field wins elections,” it could be very significant. As the Denver Post’s Mark Matthews reports:

Democrats had already surpassed Republicans in the total number of registered voters — which includes both active and inactive voters. But gaining the edge in active voters is more significant because inactive voters don’t receive a mail-in ballot and historically vote much less often. [Pols emphasis]

That could be tough for Republicans running statewide, and the trendline could cause trouble for Coffman too, who faces Democrat Morgan Carroll in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.

Gains by the Democratic Party in voters registration also help blunt the possible impact of “ticket splitting” voters, since self-selected partisans hold truer down the ticket than independent voters predominately interested in the marquee race. And looking ahead it gets even worse for the GOP in the long term, since the historically weak top of the GOP ticket this year will only–there’s no nice way to say this–create more inactive GOP voters.

Much like Dan Maes in 2010, Trump and Darryl Glenn may be setting themselves up to damage Colorado Republican electoral prospects well beyond their own failed campaigns.


7 thoughts on “Dems Surpass Republicans In Independent-Plurality Colorado

  1. Don't Fear The Harry Truman, D's:

    I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. (ref. Mark Udall campaign of 2014.-ed.) 

    The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign.

    But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are–when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people–then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again.

    We are getting a lot of suggestions to the effect that we ought to water down our platform and abandon parts of our program. These, my friends, are Trojan horse suggestions. I have been in politics for over 30 years, and I know what I am talking about, and I believe I know something about the business. One thing I am sure of: never, never throw away a winning program. This is so elementary that I suspect the people handing out this advice are not really well-wishers of the Democratic Party.

  2. The state Democratic Party needs to keep this momentum going for 2018 and beyond. It should begin work now on an effective GOTV program for that off-year election. More money for outreach, less for TV!

    The edge in voter registration numbers, and especially the margin on the active voters, could be really helpful in getting a Democratic AG in 2018, sending a D to the governor's office again, and getting rid of Gardner in 2020.

  3. I don't believe the polls that say independents are breaking for Hillary. Every independent I know is never hillary. They may not vote for Trump but they'll never vote Democrat.

        1. It's a presidential year Modster…. more like 2008 and 2012. And the polls in 2014 showed both Gardner and Coffman winning here quite reliably as well as being pretty accurate over all. Some polls skew one way, some the other. If you're looking at averages that include, say, Quinnipiac, Fox, and several others that are part of the RCP and other polling sites mixes, the rightie slant is part of the mix. 


    1. Every troubleman I know has had to remove iguanas from electrical poles – therefore, iguanas are a huge problem for troublemen. 

      Every farmer I know runs a corn maze – therefore, every farmer runs a corn maze.

      Every Republican I know is disgusted with Donald Trump – therefore, every Republican is disgusted with Donald Trump.

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