GOP up 104,000 in CO early voting

When Democrats pushed through mail-in voting for Colorado, Republicans objected over the potential for vote fraud. So far, though, the GOP has become its biggest beneficiary. Late yesterday, a report from the Secretary of State showed Republicans with a 104,000-ballot lead, giving them a nine-point edge in early voting:

Republicans are blowing out Democrats in Colorado early voting, the secretary of State there says. …

The AP said that 41 percent of the 1.1 million early ballots were from Republicans, with roughly a third coming from Democrats and a quarter from independent voters. Colorado’s voters are basically evenly split among the three groups.

The AP further noted that the GOP has had good penetration into traditionally Democratic demographics — even among younger voters:

More than 60 percent of those whose votes have been sent are 55 or older, a segment that grew from 45 percent in the midterm election in 2010.

Democrats have been trying to turn out voters who usually skip lower-interest midterms. But it’s Republicans who normally miss those elections who are voting in greater numbers this year.

The GOP even leads Democrats among voters 18 to 25, a group that has been the backbone of Democrats’ dominance over the past decade in Colorado.

“They wish they were in our position right now,” Michael Short, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said of Democrats.

In 2012’s presidential election exit polling for Colorado, Barack Obama won 60% of the 18-29YO demo, and 52% of the 30-44YOs. In 2010’s Senate race, during a Republican wave election, exit polling didn’t capture enough of the younger demo to provide solid data, as they only comprised 9% of the vote. However, Michael Bennet won enough of the middle-age vote to cancel out advantages for Ken Buck in the other age demos to win. Buck won the senior-citizen vote in 2010, and it’s almost assured that Republicans will carry it this time against Udall, too.

And let’s not forget that Democrats had a 5-point edge over the GOP in the final vote in 2010, too. If that flips, then bot Udall and John Hickenlooper are toast on Tuesday.

The RCP average on this race is Gardner up by 3.8%, but more importantly with the incumbent only averaging 42.6%, a deeply dangerous figure for an incumbent in any two-way race. Aside from two YouGov polls that got superseded by a later iteration, Udall hasn’t had a lead in this race since the beginning of September, and none at all outside the MoE since then. The last time Udall has been to 50% or more was July, an outlier that never got reproduced before or since. Two separate polls in October put Udall at 39% (USA Today/Suffolk and Quinnipiac). Udall’s high mark in October was 47% in an earlier YouGov poll, which dropped to 42% in its final iteration.

The gubernatorial race polling has been closer. The current RCP average puts the race at a 0.3% advantage to Republican Bob Beuaprez, but Hickenlooper’s incumbency only gets 44.6% of the vote. Two polls in October have shown Hickenlooper ahead, but neither of those put him above 46%. Three polls put Beauprez up, one of which was a 49/47 lead. Two others have it at a 46/46 tie, including the most recent Denver Post/Survey USA poll. However, if Republicans go into Tuesday with a 9-point advantage in early voting with half of the expected ballots cast already in place, the polling calculations may be way off — and Democrats would have to outperform Republicans by nearly 20 points or more on Tuesday to even come in range of 2010’s partisan split.

Needless to say, that doesn’t seem terribly likely. Neither does a good night for Democrats in Colorado.

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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on December 01, 2022