FOCUS ON: COLORADO

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8 mins read

WHERE THINGS STAND IN COLORADO TODAY

What was once a purple state at the start of the decade is now considered to be more safely ‘blue’ ten years later. But there have been bumps along the way.

After a rough 2014 which saw us lose a Senate seat, Democrats fought back and reclaimed the state in the 2016 Presidential race. Then in the 2018 elections Colorado Democrats elected an openly gay man as Governor, flipped 1 Congressional seat, 5 State House seats, and 3 State Senate seats, giving them control of that chamber and thus a Democratic ‘trifecta’ in their State Government.

There’s only one office in Colorado that is preventing it from being a true-blue Democratic state. 

And that brings us to the first of 7 reasons why Colorado is so important this year.

REASON #1 – DEFEATING CORY GARDNER

Cory Gardner barely won this seat in 2014 under red wave conditions. He would have had difficulty holding on to this seat under any set of circumstances. But with a man like Donald Trump at the top of the ticket who Cory won’t dare criticize, even in the face of Trump’s obvious wrong-doings? That just doesn’t sit well in Colorado.

But incumbents always have a few tricks up their sleeve, and it’s important that we don’t take a win here for granted.

Former Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper will make a great Senator for Colorado. He is already well-known and well-liked. And we need to give John as large a margin of victory as possible.

REASON #2 – DEFEATING LAURA “Q-ANON” BOEBERT

Congressional races have not really made the top of my list in terms of importance this year because the House isn’t considered to be in jeopardy, and we have other higher priorities like the White House, the Senate, and State Legislatures.

But we need to do our best to win Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District because an unstable, right-wing, QAnon conspiracy theorist is the Republican nominee.

And unlike other Congressional Districts that have QAnon-friendly Republican candidates, this district (while red) is actually flippable under the right conditions…including the condition where the GOP nominee literally has had warrants out for their arrest, as is the case here.

Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush is a fine candidate running to flip this seat and she will need help from all of us to win.

We have to stop the QAnon madness from taking a hold in our Congress, and we do that by winning this race.

REASON #3 – HOLDING COLORADO’S 9 ELECTORAL VOTES

I place this third not because it’s less important than anything else, but because Colorado is now a more safely blue state that is not a target for Republicans at a Presidential level.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t remain vigilant and give Joe Biden such an overwhelming win in the state that it lifts up Democratic candidates down-ballot.

Take nothing for granted and give Joe Biden the largest winning margin possible. Because it’s not just about giving Biden the largest Electoral Vote win possible, it’s also about giving him the largest Popular Vote win possible. A large Popular Vote win will be important to prevent any Trump attempt to ignore the election results when he loses.

REASON #4 – DEFENDING THE COLORADO STATE SENATE

In 2018 Democrats flipped this chamber by gaining 3 State Senate seats, and they made Colorado a Democratic ‘trifecta’ state in the process.

This year we have to defend that ‘trifecta’ as the State Senate could revert back to Republican hands if we don’t flip more seats and/or defend seats that we hold.

There are 35 seats in the Colorado State Senate. *18* of them are up for election this November. Luckily the map is more friendly to Democrats than Republicans this year.

The seats considered most flippable are Senate Districts 8, 23, 25, and 27.

The only seat currently considered vulnerable is Senate District 1.

You can view Colorado State Senate maps here.

REASON #5 – EXPANDING MAJORITY IN THE COLORADO STATE HOUSE

There are 65 seats in the Colorado State House, and all 65 seats are up for election this year. 

Democrats already have a comfortable 17-seat margin for their majority, but they have the opportunity to pad that margin even further by flipping vulnerable GOP-held seats in House Districts 21, 22, 38, 43, 44, and 56

You can view Colorado State House maps here.

REASON #6 – BOARD OF EDUCATION & BOARD OF REGENTS

The Colorado State Board of Education is made up of 7 seats. There is 1 seat for each of 7 districts (those districts hold the same maps as Colorado’s 7 Congressional Districts). Democrats currently hold 4 seats and Republicans currently hold 3.

3 of the 7 seats are up for election this year. Democrats hold 2 of them and Republicans hold 1. Democrats need to win 2 of the 3 elections if they are to keep control of the Board. 

The Democratic candidates are:

District 1 – Lisa Escarcega

District 3 – Mayling Simpson

District 7 – Karla Esser

The Colorado State Board of Regents is made up of 9 seats. There are 7 district seats drawn in line with the Congressional Districts, and 2 “at-large” statewide seats. Republicans currently hold 5 seats and Democrats hold 4 seats. Thus, Republicans control the Board.

3 of the 9 seats are up for election this year. Of those 3, Democrats hold 2 of them and Republicans hold 1. Democrats need to win all 3 elections if they wish to take control of the Board.

The Democratic candidates are:

District 2 – Callie Rennison

District 6 – Ilana Spiegel

District 7 – Nolbert Chavez

REASON #7 – BALLOT INITIATIVES

There are 11 ballot initiatives in Colorado this year on important topics ranging from abortion to taxes to National Popular Vote compact.

All should be reviewed carefully in advance of casting your ballot. Pay close attention to the wording so that you can vote appropriately.

Thank you for taking the time to read about why Colorado is so important this year.

Keep in mind that these are not the only reasons to Focus on Colorado in 2020. There are a number of other local elections worth your time and attention as well.

If you’d like to help Focus on Colorado, please sign up HERE for the DemCast “Focus14” Colorado effort.

And for more analysis, follow me at @trumpstaxes on Twitter.


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