NOTE: Percentages reflect Colorado Pols’ estimated chances of winning in the 2022 General Election in Colorado. Numbers are not intended to estimate final margin of victory.
LAST UPDATE: April 15, 2021
(D) Michael Bennet* (60%)
Bennet would be the first U.S. Senator from Colorado to seek a third term in office since Gordon Allott in 1966.
(R) Steve Reams (20%)
Conservative Republicans think the Weld County Sheriff could be a contender for…something. Reams would also be a likely candidate in CO-04 if Buck moves along.
(R) Darryl Glenn (20%)
Glenn was the Republican Senate nominee in 2016 when Bennet was re-elected. He may be hoping that lightning can strike twice.
(D) Emily Sirota (10%)
The far left/Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party wants to challenge Bennet in a Primary. The Denver State Representative is the rumored candidate.
(R) Ken Buck (OFF)
Buck didn’t bother keeping up the charade for very long.
(D) Jared Polis* (70%)
Polis was elected by an 11-point margin in 2018. In 2020, Joe Biden carried Colorado by 13 points and John Hickenlooper won a Senate race by about 10. There’s little reason to think Polis won’t cruise to another term in 2022.
(R) Heidi Ganahl (20%)↑
It was thought that health issues would keep her on the sidelines in 2022, but she seems to be moving closer to making a run here.
(R) Kevin Priola (10%)
Priola lands here — for now — because he is one of the few Republican success stories in Colorado over the the past two election cycles. He’s also term-limited after winning re-election to the State Senate in 2020.
(R) Greg Lopez (10%)
Lopez got about 13% of the vote in the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary, and about a year later he announced that he planned to run again in 2022. If his 2022 bid gets any traction, Lopez will have to explain why he violated conflict of interest rules when he served as district director in Colorado for the Small Business Association.
(R) Bob Beauprez (10%)
Beauprez ran for Governor in 2006 and 2014. If you’re graphing it out, then 2022 is Beauprez time once again.
(R) Cory Gardner (1%)
We’re including Gardner here mostly to make it clear that there is virtually no chance he might run for Governor in 2022. Any idle speculation about a potential Gardner run is not coming from anyone close to Gardner.
(D) Phil Weiser* (60%)
Weiser turned a lot of heads as a first-time candidate in 2018. He’ll be even better in 2022.
(R) Jason Dunn (40%)
Dunn is currently the U.S. Attorney in Colorado and will be out of a job after Joe Biden becomes President (although these appointments can take forever to come through). Of all the potential Republican candidacies on this list, Dunn for AG is the most logical fit.
(D) Dave Young* (60%)
Young’s biggest task might be in convincing Democrats to pay attention here.
SECRETARY OF STATE
(D) Jena Griswold* (60%)
Griswold was the biggest surprise of the 2018 cycle. She’ll be a top target for Republicans in 2022.
(R) Rose Pugliese (20%)
Former Mesa County Commissioner has long carried other ambitions…if she can figure out which one to pursue.
(R) Merlin Klotz (20%)
Douglas County Clerk and Recorder is thought to be interested.
(D) Diana DeGette* (95%)↑
DeGette is now longest-serving federal elected official in Colorado history.
(D) Joe Neguse* (95%)
You’re going to read this refrain a lot, but it’s true: Barring major redistricting changes, Neguse is perfectly safe.
(R) Casper Stockham (5%)
We don’t have any reason to think Stockham might run here, but he’s already failed in CO-01, CO-06, and CO-07, so maybe he’ll try to complete the set.
CO-03 (WESTERN & SOUTHERN COLO.)
(R) Lauren Boebert* (60%)↓
Boebert will likely remain the favorite here unless something really strange happens in redistricting. Will Boebert’s act still be interesting to voters by November 2022?
(D) Kerry Donovan (40%)↑
Donovan raised more than $614k in just 55 days since announcing her candidacy to solidify her place as the likely Democratic nominee in 2022.
(R) Tim Foster (20%)↑
President of Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction is retiring in June and is actively moving toward a Primary challenge of Boebert.
(D) Sol Sandoval (20%)
She is not a well-known name in CO-3 politics, but her kickoff video shows potential.
(R) Marina Zimmerman (10%)
It’s too soon to tell how serious to take Zimmerman’s candidacy.
(D) Don Valdez (10%)
State Representative making another go after a brief bid in 2020.
(D) Many Other People (1%)
There are a bunch of unknown Democrats running for this seat who are unlikely to still be hanging around a year from now.
CO-04 (NORTHEAST-ISH COLORADO)
(R) Ken Buck* (70%)
Don’t be surprised if he just walks away entirely.
(D) Ike McCorkle (30%)
McCorkle is running again after losing handily to Buck in 2020. Unless redistricting really changes the electorate, he’s looking at the same likely outcome.
CO-05 (COLORADO SPRINGS)
(R) Doug Lamborn* (90%)
El Paso County is getting bluer, but this is still a safe Republican district.
(D) Jason Crow* (80%)
Yada, yada, redistricting. Otherwise, Crow doesn’t have much to worry about in 2022.
(R) Lora Thomas (20%)
Douglas County Commissioner thinks she has a shot after winning re-election in 2020 in a solid red county. Unless CO-6 somehow gets redrawn to include most of Douglas County, she’s wrong.
CO-07 (JEFFERSON COUNTY)
(D) Ed Perlmutter* (90%)
But for redistricting, there’s no reason for Perlmutter to be concerned in 2022.
(R) Laurel Imer (10%)
Redistricting would have to make massive changes to CO-07 for Imer to have even a chance at beating Perlmutter.
CO-08 (¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
(D) Democrat Person (60%)
Colorado will likely get an 8th congressional district before 2022. We don’t know where this district will be located, but Colorado is too blue for this to not be a Dem-leaning seat.
(R) Republican Person (40%)
However the new maps are drawn, CO-08 will probably be the best chance Republicans will have at gaining another congressional seat in 2022.
STATE SENATE MAJORITY
Democrats took control of the State Senate in 2018 and picked up another seat in 2020.
The State Senate is once again the best chance for Republicans to make gains in 2022, but only because things look so bleak everywhere else.
STATE HOUSE MAJORITY
Democrats earned their biggest House majority in decades in 2018, then kept things intact in 2020. There’s virtually no chance Republicans could flip enough seats in 2022.
Capturing the majority here would be a multi-cycle task for the GOP. Colorado has changed significantly since Republicans last held a majority in the State House.
The “Big Line” and its contents are the exclusive creation of Colorado Pols and will be updated as conditions change prior to the 2022 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.
Usage allowed with credit to ColoradoPols.com.