For the second time in three days, Colorado Republicans have taken the lead on the number of early ballot returns in the Nov. 6 midterm election, according to the secretary of state.
On Thursday, Oct. 25, 2,222 more Republicans had voted than Democrats since ballots went out in the mail Oct. 15, the office announced.
So far, 367,927 voters, out of nearly 3.3 million active voters in the state, have turned in their ballots.
Colorado’s more than 1.2 million unaffiliated voters, the state’s largest bloc, have cast 103,472 ballots. A big question is which way they will swing to affect the partisan statewide and legislative races on this year’s ballot.
Voters between the ages of 41 and 60 are casting more early votes in Colorado than any other age group, data show. Men are ahead of women in early voting by 1,638 ballots.
More voters in swingy Jefferson County are turning in early ballots than anywhere else, to the tune of 48,778. Next up is Arapahoe County, casting 46,254 votes. Voters in El Paso County, home to a large bloc of Republicans, turned in 44,884 ballots so far. In Democrat-rich Denver County, voters have cast only 30,696 ballots. Democratic-leaning Boulder County turned in 29,210 so far. Voters in the battleground county of Larimar have cast 28,829 votes.
For comparison, nine days after ballots were mailed in 2014, voters had sent in 204,480 ballots, records show, with Republicans leading Democrats by 26,283 votes. In 2016, voters had cast 286,639 ballots by the ninth day after ballots hit the mail, and Democrats led the early count by 23,267.
But as the Colorado-based Republican polling firm Magellan Strategies points out, “It should be noted that the counties are not processing ballots on the exact same timeline as 2014.” The pollster also notes “one complicating factor is the delay in 60,000 ballots getting delivered to Adams County voters.” In that county, those ballots got stuck on a truck and hadn’t yet reached voters by early this week.
David Flaherty, who runs the Magellan firm, writes of today’s ballot return data, “It is too early to determine if there are any trends developing that are relevant to the election in Colorado. Hopefully by the end of the week we get a more solid look at the returns.”
Here’s the breakdown of Day 3 of Colorado’s early ballot returns in the 2018 General Election, per the secretary of state: