The Big Line: 2018

biglineflag18NOTE: Percentages reflect Colorado Pols’ estimated chances of winning the General ElectionNumbers are not intended to estimate final margin of victory.

Candidates with an asterisk (*) are officially running, or widely presumed to be running.

LAST UPDATE: June 20, 2018



(D) Jared Polis* (60%)↑
Two recent polls show Polis with double-digit lead in Democratic Primary; second poll shows Polis winning potential matchup with Stapleton.

(R) Walker Stapleton* (30%)
Stapleton seems to be a safe bet to win Republican nomination, but the General Election is different problem.

(D) Cary Kennedy* (25%)↓
Recent polling shows that Kennedy or Polis would defeat Stapleton in General Election, but it’s looking less likely that Kennedy can win Democratic Primary.

(R) Victor Mitchell* (20%)
Mitchell has been hitting Stapleton HARD, but probably waited too long to start his attacks.

(D) Mike Johnston* (15%)
Johnston has been treading water for months; difficult to see his path to nomination.

(R) Mitt Romney’s Nephew* (10%)↓
Doug Robinson campaign sputtered out in June without strong media buy to raise name ID and entice Republican voters. 

(R) Greg Lopez* (10%)
Lopez has no business being in this field, but might have enough support from right-wing fringe to not finish last in Republican Primary.

(D) Donna Lynne* (5%)↓
It will all be over soon.




(D) Phil Weiser* (40%)↑
If Weiser can overcome “Salazar” name in Democratic Primary, he’ll be a slight favorite in November.

(R) George Brauchler* (30%)
Launched digital campaign ads that make no mention of Republican Party; that’s going to work for much longer.

(D) Joe Salazar* (30%)↑
Salazar probably shouldn’t win Democratic Primary, but he has the perfect last name to pull an upset.


(D) Brad Levin* (OFF)
Did not collect enough petition signatures for ballot access.

(D) Amy Padden* (OFF)
Withdrew from race on April 24.

(R) Cynthia Coffman (OFF)
Tried, failed to win GOP nomination for Governor instead of running for re-election.

(D) Michael Dougherty (OFF)
Appointed Boulder District Attorney in March; now campaigning for election in November.



(R) Brian Watson* (30%)
We have Watson here only because he has more of a presence in paid media. The race for the Republican nomination is otherwise a crapshoot.

(D) Dave Young* (30%)
Greeley lawmaker is the best option for Democrats, but it’s hard to predict such a low-interest race.

(R) Polly Lawrence* (30%)
It’s paper-rock-scissors with Lawrence, Watson, and Everett.

(R) Justin Everett* (30%)
Sleepy Justin probably needs a low turnout among Republican voters in order to win June 26 Primary.

(D) Bernard Douthit* (20%)
Douthit could win June Primary only because Democratic voters won’t have much information on either candidate.


(R) Kevin Lundberg* (OFF)
Failed to make ballot through state assembly.

(R) Brett Barkey* (OFF)
Failed to make ballot through state assembly.

(R) Brita Horn* (OFF)
Failed to make ballot via state assembly.

(D) Charles Scheibe* (OFF)
Didn’t make the ballot. Wasn’t going to make the ballot.

(D) Steve Lebsock* (OFF)
We don’t need to tell you what happened here.



(R) Wayne Williams* (60%)↓
If voters are paying attention to this race by November, Williams could be in trouble.

(D) Jena Griswold* (40%)↑
Not much to discuss at this point; this is the only statewide race that won’t be impacted by June Primary.




(D) Diana DeGette* (60%)↓
This is a problem for DeGette. If the final Primary margin is close, she may have to fend off a stronger opponent in two years.

(D) Saira Rao* (40%)↑
Rao’s campaign hit its peak in mid-April, but there is enough disinterest in DeGette that a Primary upset is possible.

(R) Casper Stockham* (1%)↓
This yammering twit is back again in 2018.



(D) Joe Neguse* (85%)↑
You can mark this one in pen.

(D) Mark Williams* (10%)
The most “Boulder liberal” candidate in 2018 hasn’t really run a serious campaign.

(R) Peter Yu* (5%)


(D) Jared Polis (OFF)
Running for Governor in 2018.



(R) Scott Tipton* (70%)↓
Tipton is definitely vulnerable in 2018, and his recent actions bely his nervousness. This is just a very tough district for a non-incumbent in either Party.

(D) Karl Hanlon* (40%)↑
Hanlon campaign seems to have captured momentum in the Democratic Primary

(D) Diane Mitsch Bush* (30%)
Mitsch Bush can still win Democratic Primary, but she’s trending in the wrong direction.

(D) Arn Menconi* (5%)
Former Green Party guy who just likes seeing his name on a ballot.



(R) Ken Buck* (80%)↓
District makeup means Buck is safer than Tipton (CD-3) or Coffman (CD-6).

(D) Karen McCormick* (20%)↑
Democratic Primary too close to call, but winner probably can’t take out Buck regardless.

(D) Chase Kohne* (15%)
Another candidate who may have peaked a little too early.





(R) Doug Lamborn* (60%)↑
Polling suggests Lamborn is in good shape ahead of June Primary. Cats don’t have this many lives.

(R) Darryl Glenn* (20%)↑
Will Glenn or Hill earn second place in GOP Primary?

(R) Owen Hill* (20%)↓
Odds of winning appear to be fading.

(D) Stephany Rose Spaulding* (5%)
A Democrat has never really been competitive in CD-5 because of an overwhelming registration advantage for Republicans.

(R) Bill Rhea* (5%)
Fourth Republican on Primary ballot won’t win, but can he draw off significant number of votes from someone else?

(R) Tyler Stevens* (5%)
He and Rhea are in the lower tier in Republican Primary.



(R) Mike Coffman* (50%)↓
Coffman always has a lot of problems winning re-election; Republican leadership in D.C. isn’t making things any easier.

(D) Jason Crow* (50%)↑
Difficult to envision scenario whereby Crow is not the Democratic nominee here.

(D) Levi Tillemann* (5%)↓
Losing hurts. Emptying a whole can of mace in your eyes hurts worse.


(D) David Aarestad* (OFF)
Dropped out in March and endorsed Crow.

(R) Roger Edwards* (OFF)
Failed to make Primary ballot.



(D) Ed Perlmutter* (90%)
Nevermind using a pen — you can mark this one down with a Sharpie.

(R) Mark Barrington* (2%)
At least Barrington understands that he has absolutely no chance here.



If Republicans hold majority here, it will be because 1) they only have a few competitive seats to defend, and 2) the bulk of Republican resources will be directed toward preserving one-seat advantage.

Senate Republicans made a mess out of the 2018 legislative session, giving Democrats plenty of opportunities in November.



Democrats have a candidate in every single House seat — Republicans are only even on the ballot in half of the races.

Democrats hold a 7-seat majority in the House. Republicans just hoping to keep margin in single digits after November.



The “Big Line” and its contents are the exclusive creation of Colorado Pols and will be updated as conditions change prior to the 2018 General Election. It is an accurate, if unscientific, look at the races from insider perspectives from both parties. It does NOT reflect who we might like to see win, but reflects who has the best chance to win a General Election based on inside information and our analysis of that information.

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