The Electoral Map: Colorado

Except for Arizona, Colorado finishes up the western half of the United States.  There is the trifecta of a presidential, Senatorial and congressional races this year.  First, let’s look at the Senate race where Republican Darryl Glenn will take on Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet.  In 2014, Republican Cory Gardner won a Senate seat and it would be unrealistic to assume that the GOP can match that feat in a presidential election year which is unfortunate.

It is unfortunate for two reasons- Darryl Glenn and Michael Bennet.  With respect to the former, if one remembers Glenn rose to the top of the heap after a rousing speech at the state convention.  It does not hurt that he is also conservative and African-American (yes, Black Lives Matter- there really are conservative blacks).  Every indication from the polls suggest that Glenn will go down to defeat by double digits.  Some polls have him down by as much as 18 points.  It should be closer than that, but a defeat nevertheless.  Perhaps in any other year, Glenn would have a greater chance.  But after all is said and done, he is one bright spot for the future of the Republican Party.

The other reason is Michael Bennet.  He is a particularly weak candidate and sports one of the lowest approval ratings of all incumbent Democratic Senators.  Good fortune placed this election in a presidential election year as he may not be so lucky in 2022.

As an aside, the nomination/primary process in Colorado on the GOP side was a disgrace this year.  People were kicked off the ballot only to be reinstated by judges amid allegations of forged or false signatures on petitions.  There was even an arrest made.  I thought the Democrats were the great violators in this area.  Republican allegations of election fraud ring hollow when Republicans act like Democrats in this area.

In the Congressional races, the Colorado delegation contains 4 Republicans and 3 Democrats.  The only truly competitive race is in the 6th which was redrawn after the 2010 census making it harder for Republican incumbent Mike Coffman.  The man always seems to have a target on his back.  Yet, despite redistricting and a changing demographic and a rather strong opponent in Andrew Romanoff in 2014, he easily won reelection.

Democrats believe they have an even better candidate this time out in the form of state senator Morgan Carroll.  She is, without a doubt, a liberal firebrand in the state who once referred to all Republicans as “nut jobs” and “fascists.”  So much for bipartisanship.  In fact, her agenda sounds like the worst excesses of a Bernie Sanders agenda.  Of course, she has won the endorsement of all the usual Leftist suspects in Colorado and nationally.  The DCCC is pumping money into this race, as are outside groups on both sides.  She was also behind some of the most controversial and unpopular recent gun legislation in Colorado.  Not to be outdone, some liberals have criticized her for being instrumental in blocking a law that would have allowed for in-state tuition for undocumented aliens.

In particular, the Koch-backed Americans For Prosperity have a major ground game in effect in the 6th District and this marks only the second time they have entered a political race against a candidate.  The first time was 2014 again in Colorado with the Gardner campaign.  Many consider this one of the most important races in the country.

As for Coffman, Carroll may have a harder time unseating him than most would think in a presidential election year.  Even Democrats and the liberal press in Colorado describe him as one of the hardest working people in Washington, not just Colorado.  There are reports that he spends some nights learning Spanish to adjust to the changing demographics in the district.  If Carroll wins, it will not be by much and the same goes for Coffman.  This one will likely go down to the wire.  To his credit, he has distanced himself from the toxic Trump at the top of the ticket.

Colorado is considered a swing state in presidential politics, but those changing demographics, especially in the Denver area where the bulk of the state’s population resides, is pushing the state increasingly into the blue column.  Some polls have Trump up, but not by much.  However, overall one should not expect an upset here and Clinton, although not particularly popular in the state, should prevail by about 6 points.

Thus, I am predicting that Clinton will take the 9 electoral votes up for grabs in Colorado, Bennet will win reelection and, working under a worse case scenario, Mike Coffman will lose his seat in the House.

After this entry, Clinton now leads in the electoral vote count 239-180.  The Senate remains in GOP control 51-49 and also the House, 238-197.

Next: Wisconsin