2014 Elections Predictions

All races are rated on a scale of 1 to 7 following the district name in (parentheses):
  • 1 = Democratic Party Pick-up 
  • 2 = Strong Democratic Party (anticipated Democratic Party hold-over, 6.5%+ voters and performance)
  • 3 = Leans Democratic Party (likely Democratic Party victory or hold-over, 3.5%-6.5% voters and performance)
  • 4 = Toss-up (seat could either go Republican Party or Democratic Party, too close to call, >3.5% voter and performance)
  • 5 = Leans Republican Party (likely Republican Party victory or hold-over, 3.5%-6.5% voters and performance)
  • 6 = Strong Republican Party (anticipated Republican Party hold-over, 6.5%+ voters and performance)
  • 7 = Republican Party Pick-up 

There is also a breakdown of active registered voters in that district of Republicans, Democrats and Unaffiliated.  Percentages are rounded.  The breakdown of active registered voters is accurate through 30 September 2014 (the most recent numbers currently available from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office).

Each race also has a "D" or "R" followed by "+[#]" indicating performance deviation from the state for that district in 2012.  If Republicans out-performed Democrats in that district, it will be an "R+"; likewise, if Democrats out-performed Republicans in that district, it will be a "D+".  This helps to give an idea of the performance we can expect from that district in 2014.  The 2012 State Average performance (combined overall vote percentage for Statewide, Congressional, House, and Senate races) is 48.95% Republican, and 46.39% Democrat.

Candidates are listed alphabetically by last name.  Italics indicate incumbency.

While I am rather proud of my 97% accuracy in "predicting" results in 2012, this is meant for informational purposes only and as a guideline for what may happen in the election.  These predictions below are not necessarily what I want to happen, but what I think will happen based on 48 different points of data.  I condensed that data into 15 groups, the results of which were boiled down into one number: the District Ranking (scale provided above).

Please note: If I easily found a candidate's website (i.e. it was on the first page of Google when I search), I linked to it as well. I've chosen to represent the following Parties only: Democrat Party, Libertarian Party, Republican Party, as well as the “top” Unaffiliated candidate.  Simply put, almost all races (with the exception of Congressional and less than a handful of the rest) below only have candidates from one of those four groups.  It's not meant as a snub to other Parties or candidates, I'm simply trying to be consistent.  To see a complete list of candidates, including write-ins, ACP, Green Party, Unity Party and other Unaffiliated candidates, check out the Colorado Secretary of State's Official Candidate List for the 2014 General Election.

Redistricting and Reapportionment
New to Colorado or haven't paid much attention since the 2011 Redistricting and Reapportionment?  You can go to the Secretary of State's website to find every district in which you live (from Congressional to School Board).  You can also check here to see maps of the new districts (Congressional and State House/Senate).   For much more info on both Redistricting and Reapportionment, check out Clear The Bench Colorado, the only source that has thoroughly and continuously covered those topics since 2009.  

As always, for all your judicial questions, check out Clear The Bench Colorado for substantive evaluations on higher-court (and some lower-court) judges.   CTBC includes links to the Blue Book so-called "reviews" for contrast and completeness.  Remember, on Judges... when in doubt, always vote to Not Retain.  "If you don’t know, vote no."

My recommendations for Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are:
  • Justice Boatright: Retain
  • Justice Marquez: Not Retain (an argument can be made to retain, you can read and make up your own mind)
  • Judge Fox: Not Retain
  • Judge Loeb: Not Retain

Ballot Initiatives
There are four statewide ballot initiatives in Colorado this election.  Here is my brief take on each of them (you can find additional information from the SOS website).

Amendment 67 (Definition of Person and Child) — no recommendation. I am leaning towards not voting on this at all myself, because while I agree with it in principle, I'm just not sure this is the most effective way of advocating for the sanctity of life.  There are better ways to advance this issue in political discourse, and it often does more harm than good in elections (bringing out those who would otherwise not vote, but are rabidly anti-Personhood, and then vote consistently Democratic down the ticket).  From a strategic standpoint, I'm opposed to Amendments like this, but because I understand why it continues to appear on the ballot, I have a hard time saying an outright "no" to it.  This is one you'll have to make up your own mind about.

Amendment 68 (Horse Racetrack Limited Gaming Proceeds for K-12 Education) — NO.  Bizarrely (or perhaps not), this amendment is actually being backed by Republican cronies and Unions.  Throwing more money at the education problem has been proven time and again to be a waste.  Until other reforms are enacted, I 100% oppose any measure to throw more money at a problem that money cannot fix.  Absolutely no!

Proposition 104 (School Board Open Meetings) — YES.  School Boards are comprised of elected officials.  Colorado has a Sunshine Law, which requires a meeting of two or more elected officials to be open to the public.  This seems like a no-brainer to me.  An emphatic yes!

Proposition 105 (Labeling Genetically Modified Food) — NO.  While I like the idea of being an informed consumer, I am not fond of additional government mandates.  I’m opposed to the idea of the FDA in general, and this seems lock step with that kind of mentality.  I would rather see a free market solution to this issue, and am voting no.

Statewide Races
Districts up in 2014: U.S. Senate (Class 3), Governor (and Lt. Governor), Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer
Current Make-up: 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 4 Democrats, 1 Republican, 1 Toss-up (leans Republican)

U.S. Senate (4, leans D)
33R/31D/35U (D+3)
The nation has its eye on this race.  Poll after poll, article after article, calls this race as close—within the margin of error either way.  However, despite the best (or worst) efforts of advertisements and mailers to educate Colorado about how liberal Udall really is, he is still seen as the moderate, likeable guy he convinced people he was in 2008 across many parts of this state.  The Gardner campaign seems to be focused on nothing but the false “war on women” trope (except the one linked Obamacare ad, which, to be fair, is the best ad I’ve seen from a Republican candidate in Colorado this year).  Instead of making real issues a priority, the focus is on responding to attacks from the other side.  In politics, when you’re responding—you’re losing.  That concerns me about his chances to actually win, and while I believe this race will be close, I think it ultimately leans to the incumbent.

Governor/Lt. Governor (4, leans D)
33R/31D/35U (D+3)
In a straight-up contest between Hickenlooper and Beauprez, I think Beauprez has better-than-even odds of winning.  With other factors, and other candidates in the mix, that tends to favor incumbency in Colorado.  I just don't see signs of 2014 being a wave year in Colorado, which also helps Hickenlooper.

Attorney General (4, leans D)
33R/31D/35U (D+3)
Attorney General is a now open seat with the term-limit for John Suthers.  His second-in-command, Cynthia Coffman (wife of Rep. Mike Coffman), has run on a platform of essentially continuing the past 10 years.  Don Quick, a former DA, has promised a more partisan, activist office.  David K. Williams, a Denver lawyer, has offered a decent challenge for a Libertarian.  I expect that this race will go for Quick.

Secretary of State (4, leans R)
33R/31D/35U (D+3)
I believe this is the single most important statewide office in Colorado.  As Joseph Stalin famously said...
"Я считаю, что совершенно неважно, кто и как будет в партии голосовать; но вот что чрезвычайно важно, это - кто и как будет считать голоса." ("I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.")
No other race in Colorado will matter if Republicans lose this one.  Considering that Secretary of State and Treasurer are often seen as "generic party" offices (meaning that voters tend to vote for Party over person in these races due to lack of interest in or publicity about the candidates), there is a decent chance that this seat leans R, as in all midterm elections this millennium.

Treasurer (4, leans R)
33R/31D/35U (D+3)
Loser Betsy Markey has come back for another big helping of crow by taking on PERA reform champion Walker Stapleton.  Again, as a "generic party" office (see above), I think it likely the only statewide Republican incumbent holds his seat.

Congressional Races
Current Make-up: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats, 1 toss-up

There isn't much in the way of commentary on these races because the outcome was largely determined by court-drawn redistricting maps in 2011.  The only seat that will be consistently in play for the rest of this decade is CD6.

Congressional District 1 (2)
Arapahoe, Denver, Jefferson
19R/44D/35U (D+22)

Congressional District 2 (2)
Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer, Park, Summit
28R/32D/39U (D+9)

Congressional District 3 (5)
Alamosa, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Delta, Delores, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, La Plata, Lake, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel
35R/30D/34U (R+4)

Congressional District 4 (6)
Adams, Arapahoe, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Cheyenne, Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Phillips, Prowers, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld, Yuma
42R/23D/34U (R+9)

Congressional District 5 (6)
Chaffee, El Paso, Fremont, Park, Teller
43R/21D/34U (R+16)

Congressional District 6 (4)
Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas
33R/31D/35U (underperformed state average for both parties)
It's only a matter of time until redistricting catches up with CD6.  Is 2014 that year?  Hard to say.  Coffman barely squeaked out a victory against an underfunded nobody in 2012, but perhaps the trend of higher Republican turnout in mid-term election years will help him cling to this seat against a better known, better funded challenger.

Congressional District 7 (2)
Adams, Jefferson
28R/34D/38U (D+7)

CU Regent
Districts up in 2014: 2, 6, 7
Current Make-up: 5 Republicans, 4 Democrats
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 5 Republicans, 4 Democrats

Congressional District 2 (2)
Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer, Park, Summit
28R/32D/38U (D+9)
  • Kim McGahey (Republican)
  • Daniel Ong (Libertarian)
  • Linda Shoemaker (Democrat)

Congressional District 6 (5)
Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas
33R/31D/35U (underperformed state average for both parties)

Congressional District 7 (3)
Adams, Jefferson
28R/34D/38U (D+7)

State Board of Education Races
Districts up in 2014: 1, 3, 7
Current Make-up: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats

Congressional District 1 (2)
Arapahoe, Denver, Jefferson
19R/44D/35U (D+22)

Congressional District 3 (5)
Alamosa, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Delta, Delores, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, La Plata, Lake, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel
35R/30D/34U (R+4)

Congressional District 7 (2)
Adams, Jefferson
28R/34D/38U (D+7)

State Senate
Districts up in 2014: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 24, 30, 32, 34
Current Make-up: 20 Democrats, 15 Republicans
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 15 Democrats, 15 Republicans, 5 toss-ups (1 leans R, 3 lean D, 1 too close to call)

Senate District 1 (6)
Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld, Yuma
52R/16D/31U [R+19]
There is also an ACP Candidate in this race.

Senate District 2 (6)
Clear Creek, El Paso, Fremont, Park, Teller
44R/20D/35U [R+12]
There is also a Green Party Candidate in this race.

Senate District 3 (1)
24R/46D/30U [D+11]
After an incredibly successful (and surprising) recall effort in Pueblo last year, it looks very likely that this district will return to Democratic control.  I do believe this race will be closer than usual for a district with this kind of registration and performance disparity, however.

Senate District 5 (4)
Chaffee, Delta, Eagle, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake, Pitkin
32R/27D/39U [D+2]
This race is going to come entirely down to turn-out.  While Us in SD5 trend D, there is a 5% R registration advantage that can tip this district if properly harnessed.  I believe this race is too close to call due to the difference in performance vs. registration.

Senate District 6 (6)
Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan, San Miguel
40R/26D/33U [R+6]

Senate District 7 (6)
44R/19D/35U [R+15]

Senate District 9 (6)
El Paso
54R/15D/31U [R+21]

Senate District 11 (1)
El Paso
27R/32D/39U [D+6]
This is not, not, NOT the same district that now-Sen. Hill barely lost in 2010.  Reapportionment has changed this district to a nearly-certain D seat until at least the next reapportionment.  Despite the success of the recall election, I do not believe that Rs can retain this seat and expect it to flip D in this election.

Senate District 13 (5)
35R/26D/38U [R+6]

Senate District 15 (6)
38R/26D/37U [R+5]

Senate District 16 (4, leans R)
Boulder, Denver, Gilpin, Jefferson
33R/29D/37U [D+2]
Like SD5, this race is all about the turnout.  The slight D performance edge can give way to the 4% R registration advantage if tapped properly.  There is no one else I can think of in this state better suited to accomplish this task than Neville.

Senate District 19 (4, leans D)
31R/30D/37U [D+2]
The final district to see a successful recall effort in 2013 (which stopped short due to the resignation of Sen. Hudak) was SD19.  Unfortunately, like the other two recall seats, I'm not sure Rs can claim this one on 4 November.  This is yet another example of the real circular firing squad in Republican politics--not only a nasty primary (which sparked campaign finance litigation due to illegal activity in some of the smear campaign), but Republicans actively campaigning for or contributing to the Democratic candidate (who, herself, is party to a campaign finance complaint over an illegal contribution from a lobbyist during session).  These are, of course, the very same Republicans who cry "UNITY--or else!" when their favorite (bad) loser candidate wins a primary.  The cognitive dissonance and double standard echoes loudly across Colorado and into a number of other races over the past decade and a half.  Regardless of the outcome of the June Primary, however, I don't think this seat was winnable.  It is a tough district and I don't think even a perfect Republican candidate could take it this election.  Sabotage from within the GOP ranks certainly hasn't help.

Senate District 20 (4, leans D)
32R/30D/37U [D+3]
The Us in this district consistently perform D.  While Queen has been out there working very hard, I'm not sure the wave needed to support a flip in this seat is forming.  JeffCo Republicans have a notoriously bad GOTV machine (when they even have one at all), and that will hurt Republican candidates there... again.  Being the bellweather county in the state, they often don't act like that matters, and Republicans continue to suffer there because of inept leadership.

Senate District 22 (3)
31R/31D/37U [D+5]
This is a district closely watched as another competitive seat, but I don't believe the numbers bear that out.  It has the highest D performance of any "toss-up" seat in 2014.  I am confident enough that this seat stays in D hands that I am not listing it as a toss-up.  I do hope it will be closer than in 2014, however.

Senate District 24 (4, leans D)
29R/32D/38U [D+3]
This may be the single largest wasted opportunity for Colorado Republicans in 2014.  Solano is disliked by those in her own party.  This is a moveable seat.  And yet, there has been nary a peep about this seat.  If there was a time to take SD24, this was the year, and it looks like Rs will once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Senate District 30 (6)
46R/22D/31U [R+12]

Senate District 32 (2)
19R/44D/36U [D+22]

Senate District 34 (2)
12R/49D/37U [D+31]

State House
Current Make-up: 37 Democrats, 28 Republican
Projected Post-Election Make-up: 36 Democrats, 27 Republicans, 2 toss-up (both lean R)

House District 1 (2)
Denver, Jefferson
22R/42D/35U [D+13]

House District 2 (2)
16R/43D/39U [D+25]
Despite being a heavy D district, I expect to see better results than usual from this district thanks to an active R campaign and candidate.  I hope this becomes the model for how campaigns operate in tough districts going forward.

House District 3 (3)
31R/31D/36U [D+3]
In theory, this should be a toss-up race.  In practice, I'm not convinced Benge has much of a shot and I'm placing this as a leans D seat.

House District 4 (2)
11R/52D/35U [D+33]

House District 5 (2)
13R/47D/38U [D+29]

House District 6 (2)
21R/45D/33U [D+21]

House District 7 (2)
11R/56D/32U [D+35]

House District 8 (2)
9R/56D/33U [D+37]

House District 9 (2)
Arapahoe, Denver
23R/40D/36U [D+16]

House District 10 (2)
11R/47D/39U [D+33]

House District 11 (2)
27R/34D/37U [D+9]

House District 12 (2)
22R/40D/37U [D+17]

House District 13 (2)
Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson
21R/41D/36U [D+21]

House District 14 (6)
El Paso
52R/15D/32U [R+24]

House District 15 (6)
El Paso
45R/19D/35U [R+20]

House District 16 (6)
El Paso
43R/21D/34U [R+15]

House District 17 (3)
El Paso
27R/33D/39U [D+4]
Another theoretically "toss-up" seat, Reapportionment changed just enough of this fairly transient district to likely ensure D domination until the next Reapportionment in 2021.

House District 18 (3)
El Paso
30R/30D/38U [D+6]

House District 19 (6)
El Paso
57R/12D/30U [R+28]

House District 20 (6)
El Paso
47R/20D/32U [R+15]

House District 21 (6)
El Paso
36R/25D/38U [R+12]

House District 22 (6)
39R/24D/36U [R+5]

House District 23 (3)
28R/33D/38U [D+3]

House District 24 (2)
27R/33D/38U [D+9]

House District 25 (6)
37R/26D/36U [R+4]
Without a D candidate in this race, there is the potential for HD25 to be 2014's HD54 (see: 2012 election).  It will be interesting to see what percentage the Libertarian candidate receives here.

House District 26 (2)
Eagle, Routt
28R/28D/42U [D+8]

House District 27 (6)
35R/28D/36U [R+3]

House District 28 (3)
28R/34D/37U [D+6]

House District 29 (3)
29R/31D/39U [D+5]
I'm almost tempted to throw this in as a toss-up because of the way this race is shaking out.  The nasty attack mailers against Republican candidate Kochevar have raised the ire of many across the district, state, and nation, and may have a negative impact for the Democratic candidate rather than help Kraft-Tharp out.

House District 30 (2)
25R/36D/38U [D+7]

House District 31 (2)
25R/35D/39U [D+9]

House District 32 (2)
17R/44D/37U [D+17]

House District 33 (3)
Boulder, Broomfield
30R/30D/39U [D+5]
Another Republican target that I just don't see as moveable this election.  I feel confident that this seat will remain in Democratic hands.

House District 34 (2)
25R/35D/39U [D+19]
  • Steve Lebsock (Democrat)
  • Alexander “Skinny” Winkler (Republican)

House District 35 (2)
26R/35D/37U [D+8]

House District 36 (2)
25R/35D/37U [D+9]

House District 37 (5)
37R/27D/35U [R+4]

House District 38 (6)
39R/26D/35U [R+5]

House District 39 (6)
Douglas, Teller
50R/18D/31U [R+16]

House District 40 (3)
27R/34D/37U [D+6]
This is another target seat for Rs, who lost it in 2012 after Reapportionment drastically changed the dynamics of this district.  Unfortunately, I don't see this seat returning to R control any time soon.

House District 41 (2)
24R/39D/35U [D+12]

House District 42 (2)
17R/45D/36U [D+21]

House District 43 (6)
45R/23D/31U [R+11]

House District 44 (6)
45R/20D/33U [R+18]

House District 45 (6)
50R/18D/31U [R+17]

House District 46 (2)
25R/45D/30U [D+12]
This is going to be an interesting race to watch unfold.  I suspect this race will be much tighter for the Ds than they are used to in Pueblo.

House District 47 (4, leans R)
Fremont, Otero, Pueblo
32R/36D/31U [R+2]
While it’s possible to be a D pick up, I think Rs will cling to this seat.  Despite the registration disadvantage, the Us trend slightly R and incumbency helps.

House District 48 (6)
44R/20D/35U [R+18]

House District 49 (6)
Larimer, Weld
41R/22D/36U [R+9]

House District 50 (3)
27R/30D/41U [D+7]
Another target Republican seat that just won't move Republican in 2014.  Hopefully this campaign can move the needle enough to make it easier in 2016 or 2018, however.

House District 51 (6)
39R/22D/37U [R+6]

House District 52 (2)
30R/30D/39U [D+9]

House District 53 (3)
25R/31D/42U [D+2]

House District 54 (6)
Delta, Mesa
47R/18D/34U [R+15]

House District 55 (6)
43R/21D/35U [R+11]

House District 56 (6)
Adams, Arapahoe
38R/25D/26U [R+9]

House District 57 (6)
Garfield, Moffat, Rio Blanco
40R/20D/38U [R+8]

House District 58 (6)
Dolores, Montezuma, Montrose, San Miguel
44R/22D/33U [R+12]

House District 59 (4, leans R)
Archuleta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Ouray, San Juan
35R/29D/34U [D+3]
There is a reasonably good chance that this district flips.  2012 was a very close election, and McLachlan has been under a lot of fire (pun only partially intended) over his votes on gun control legislation.  This was the first district targeted by the Colorado recall effort, and although it didn’t come to fruition, the movement is still strong there.

House District 60 (6)
Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Park
43R/22D/33U [R+9]

House District 61 (2)
Delta, Gunnison, Lake, Pitkin, Summit
28R/29D/42U [D+4]

House District 62 (2)
Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache
26R/47D/26U [D+12]

House District 63 (6)
38R/23D/37U [R+10]

House District 64 (6)
Baca, Bent, Crowley, Elbert, Kiowa, Las Animas, Lincoln, Prowers, Washington
48R/24D/27U [R+20]

House District 65 (6)
Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Yuma
51R/18D/30U [R+28]

Please note that the divider graphic was used from here.

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