Colorado Election Recap 2022 

by Larry Hudson, The Fulcrum Group

Congressional and Statewide Candidate Results

The red wave largely skipped Colorado in 2022, due in part to Democrats outspending Republicans, and in part to lackluster candidates at the top of the ticket.  As of November 1, 2022, there were approximately 3.8 million registered voters in Colorado.  Just over 1 million registered Democrat, 940,000 registered Republican, and 1.7 million registered Unaffiliated (the remainder registered with small parties).  Statewide voter turnout was under 50% this cycle.

Despite the Democratic Governors Association and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spending heavily to promote far right candidates in the June primary so that top ticket races would be dominated by pro-Trump candidates, the more centrist candidates prevailed and headlined the statewide races, yet all still lost.  Democrats outspent Republicans on a nearly 2:1 margin at for the Governor’s and AG’s races, but net spending was nearly equal between parties in the target state senate races.  All high-profile incumbents prevailed, except Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who is currently trailing Adam Frisch in CD 3.  That race is currently too close to call.  Republicans were urging voters to wait until election day to vote, despite Colorado being an all-mail ballot state (voters can cast provisional ballots in person), therefore it will take time to get final results. 

Colorado General Assembly

Going into the election after redistricting, Democrats held a 21-14 majority in the State Senate after Sen. Kevin Priola switched parties from Republican to Democrat this fall.  The majority in that chamber was in play until his defection, but Republicans failed to tighten the margin in, and are predicted to lose all seven target seats, which would give Democrats a majority of 23-12. Two seats are currently too close to call.  In the House, the Democrats held a 41-24 advantage in 2021 and 2022.  Republicans targeted 8 seats and netted zero.  Additionally, Democrats may have increased their margin to 45-20, with four seats still yet to be called. 

House leadership elections will take place on Thursday of this week, at which time a new Speaker, Majority Leader, and Minority Leader will be elected.  In the Senate, there is likely to be a new majority and minority leader, but Sen. Steve Fenberg will remain the Senate President.  We will update you on the leadership elections results later this week.

In summary, Colorado Republican candidates failed to accomplish the expected gains in an majority party mid-term election.  There will be speculation and analysis over the coming weeks as to what went wrong, while Democrats will likely continue on a more progressive policy agenda in the Colorado General Assembly with even greater than expected margins in both Chambers.

2022 Colorado Election Recap

Top Lines

Please note that results are still unofficial due to certain counties being slow to report.  Final margins will be reported by the end of the week. Congressional Districts 3 and 8 and Proposition 125, too close to call.

US Senate                            Incumbent Michael Bennet (D) def. Joe O’Dea (R)

HD 1                                       Incumbent Diana DeGette (D) def. Jennifer Qualteri (R)

HD 2                                       Incumbent Joe Neguse (D) def. Marshall Dawson (R)

HD 3                                       Adam Frisch (D) leading Incumbent Lauren Boebert (R)

HD 4                                       Incumbent Ken Buck (R) def. Ike McCorkle (D)

HD 5                                       Incumbent Doug Lamborn (R) def. David Torres (D)

HD 6                                       Incumbent Jason Crow (D) def. Steve Monahan (R)

HD 7                                       Brittany Pettersen (D) def. Erik Aadland (R) for seat vacated by Congressman Ed Perlmutter

HD 8                                       Yadira Caraveo (D) leading Barbara Kirkmeyer (R)

 Governor                             Incumbent Jared Polis (D) def. Heidi Ganahl (R)

Secretary of State             Incumbent Jena Griswold (D) def. Pam Anderson (R)

Attorney General              Incumbent Phil Weiser (D) def. John Kelner (R)

State Treasurer                  Incumbent Dave Young (D) def. Lang Sais (R)

 State Senate                       Democrats potentially control by margin of 23-12

State House                        Democrats potentially control by margin of 45-20

 Ballot Measures   

                                                Prop 121 – Income Tax Reduction - YES

                                                Prop 122 – Legalize Psilocybin - YES

                                                Prop 123 - $ for Housing - YES

                                                Prop 124 – Multiple Liquor Licenses - NO

                                                Prop 125 – Wine Sales in Grocery Stores (too close)

                                                Prop 126 – Liquor Delivery by Third Parties – NO

 Link to all races reported on the CO Secretary of State website