Power-Building Strategy: Build for the long term with continued investments in districts like CO-3.
Colorado, good job. Colorado gets high marks on many areas of our power-building metrics. Both of its US Senate seats are now held by Democrats, along with its governorship. Democrats flipped the State Senate in 2018 and have won almost all of the competitive state legislative districts. Colorado saw a net gain in legislative seats in 2020, unlike many other states.
Even prior to Democrats having full control of the legislature, Colorado had a demonstrated bipartisan commitment to a pro-voting rights agenda, faring well on the Voting Rights Scorecard released by our friends at EveryDistrict Action Fund in 2019.
As we model Senate control over the next 20 years, we expect both Colorado Senate seats to remain Democratic and for Colorado to continue to trend blue statewide. But given historical trends, attention should be paid to state-level races and the US Senate race on the ballot in 2022 to ensure we don’t lose any of the ground we’ve gained.
As a long-term investment, activists in Colorado could focus their attention on flipping Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District blue. As an R+6 according to Cook PVI, this district is not likely to flip in 2022 where we expect to see a swing away from Democrats, even given newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert’s history of controversy.
Its lean has remained durably Republican, giving the GOP presidential candidate the edge 52-46% in both 2012 and 2020 and 52-40% in 2016. We know that incumbents like Boebert attract grassroots fundraising for whatever Democrat is running against them, even in unwinnable districts. Luckily, smart investments in CO-3 could bring it within the realm of possibility over the next few years.
The EveryDistrict team will be closely tracking congressional and legislative redistricting to see what additional long-term growth opportunities like CO-3 will exist once the new lines are drawn. Continued investment in outreach and truly listening to voters’ concerns in these communities will pay dividends in future cycles if Democrats can then craft a message that uniquely resonates in these types of communities.
How you can advance a 50-state strategy in Colorado:
- Follow redistricting’s impact on CO-3 and invest if the district becomes more viable and the Democratic candidate is strong.
Crossposted from EveryDistrict with permission.
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