Republicans take afternoon early-vote lead on the eve of Election Day in Colorado after Dems won the morning

Ballots being collected outside the Denver Election Commission. (Photo by Phil Cherner)

This post has been updated since new numbers came in on the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2018

UPDATE: Colorado Republicans overtook Democrats by about 1,300 votes this afternoon after Democrats surged ahead in the morning return numbers by close to 5,000 votes. As of 2:30 p.m., 556,119 Republicans had cast ballots versus 554,809 Democrats. The following story is based on numbers from the early morning of Nov. 5. 

As of 12:30e a.m. on the eve of 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 5, Election Day, 519,833 Democrats had cast ballots across the state versus 515,131 Republicans, according to data from the secretary of state. The two parties had been neck and neck, with Republicans eking out a slight lead going into the weekend. But a flood of Democrats, Colorado’s dominant political party, came in over Saturday and Sunday.

Meanwhile, 461,154 unaffiliated voters cast their ballots. A big question is which way they will swing to affect the partisan statewide and legislative races on this year’s ballot.

We got an idea of how they might vote if results of this year’s primaries are any indication. This was the first year unaffiliated voters could participate in a party primary, and they could only pick one. The number of unaffiliated voters was about 270,000. Of that number, 63 percent chose a Democratic ballot and 37 percent picked a Republican one, according to data from the secretary of state’s office.

Libertarians cast 12,415 votes so far, and Green Party members cast 3,144. Members of a new third party in Colorado, the Unity Party, cast 247 ballots.

All told, 1,518,817 Coloradans have voted. There are about 3.3 million active registered voters in the state. Election Day is tomorrow, Nov. 6.

Jefferson County leads the early-vote return totals with 195,486 voters already casting ballots; Democrats lead Republicans there by about 4,000 votes. Conservative El Paso turned in 170,519 ballots, with Republicans leading by nearly 40,000 ballots. In Denver County, 167,131 voters have filled out their ballots, with Democrats leading Republican voters by 65,000 ballots. In battleground Larimer County, voters have cast 108,321 ballots, and Republicans lead by about 1,000. In Arapahoe County, 166,262 ballots have been submitted, with Democrats leading by 7,000.

Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli said Democrats’ early-vote lead in Arapahoe County could indicate problems for Republican Congressman Mike Coffman. National issues could be having an impact on turnout there, he added.

Here’s the breakdown as of Nov. 5, showing Colorado’s early ballot returns in the 2018 General Election, per the secretary of state:


  1. I didn’t expect Arapahoe County to lean that way this early. If Coffman is really down four points in AC already he’s toast.

  2. Magellan Strategies is a day behind, looking at votes cast by Nov 4. But they also break down by Congressional Districts, and in the 6th, Mike Coffman’s got trouble.
    2014 2018
    overall 189,262 208,760
    REP 79,768 71,514
    DEM 59,862 71,360
    UAF 49,662 65,886

  3. From a 50,000 ft view, the big number appears to be the wide margin between female and male voters. In 2016, there were almost 11% more female voters than male. In 2018, women have doubled that margin. That seems to bode well for the Dems, considering 54% of women voted Dem in the 2016 General, and CO female democrats turned in 87000 more votes than their Republican counterparts.

    My concern, echoed this morning by a former Obama official, is the bloc of too embarrassed-to-admit-it Republican women voters. They could be an under-represented minority tomorrow that could throw even the best prognostications off by several points.

    If the conventional wisdom says that Republicans are largely racist, Rambo and/or religious, then I imagine Republican women are largely identified by their racism and their religious fundamentalism, considering gun ownership stats. With exceptions of course.

    Bluntly, my prediction is the willfully ignorant evangelical vote that ignores Trump’s misogyny runs neck and neck with the rationalizing racist “safety” vote for the biggest female, Republican shadow voting bloc tomorrow.

  4. Apparently, spaces don’t hold up for formatting.

    …………….2014 …………….2018
    overall …189,262 ….208,760
    REP ……….79,768 ……..71,514
    DEM ……..59,862 ……..71,360
    UAF ………49,662 ……..65,886

  5. Coffman has been very quiet. Considering the RNC pulled his funding weeks ago it’s no surprise. They were quarantined faster than the Ebola outbreak in the Congo. I think everyone over there can read the writing on the wall. They’ve updated their resumes already…and if they haven’t they certainly should be.

    I know Republicans can’t put their political affiliation up on dating sites anymore…how long before resumes are the same? When does that big gold plated T turn scarlet?

  6. You forgot to throw in homophobic and xenophobic. Come on, man, this is 2018. Knock it off with the misogyny and racism ploy. It’s weak. Did you hear about the new National Monument? Probably not, if the mainstream media is your news source. Pull your head out…

  7. The homophobia was of course implied within the “religious fundamentalism” umbrella. Xenophobia is complicated but just like misogyny, racism and homophobia, it also dovetails perfectly with Republican positions.

    It’s a little late to be pouting that the Republican Party is correctly being labeled with these terms. Like 164 years too late. Pretending the GOP is otherwise is also an attempt at futility. No one’s buying it. There’s too much in print and on camera. Google exists…so have some intellectual honesty and own it.

    There was a time when Republicans could rely on enough of the electorate to be racist and misogynistic right along with them.

    That time has passed.

    The time for accountability for complicity has arrived.

  8. OK Jay, after delving into reality of numbers you go off on presumptions that can’t be carried by anything but Dunning Kruger assertionhood.

    Funny thing about this sample is that it is enormous and keeps holding to its primary tight deviation to its original mean. D’s & R’s are neck to within less than 1/2 of 1/2 %. The only thing that could deviate from this is if Dems hold at 95% loyalty and R’s fall below 90%.

    As for the U’s they are skewed younger and new. They also are showing up and possibly could jump a shark and get into the 33% of the electorate. This is the real dark secret of CO electoral politics, so many new voters since ’14 but that root system goes back to ’08. When I scrunch 71 in totality. I don’t see the power of white evangelical women overpowering these governing demographics. Especially when polling is showing 63% or greater D leaning among U’s under 40 that is 130,00 voters or 81,000 votes to 49,000 votes, and that does not include the 48k advantage by party affiliation D over R <40 years. all told that is 100,000 votes. Esp when 41-70 will essentially be split.

    D's = 519,833 (34.32%) up 16.43% from 2014
    R's = 515,831 (34.02%) down 7.66% from 2014
    U's = 461,154 (30.44%) up 28.28% from 2014
    but a deeper look
    D=305,573 (39.26%)
    R=249,943 (32.05%)
    U's=215,972 (27.75%)

    D=209,742 (28.98%)
    R=262,791 (36.31%)
    U's=239,477 (33.09%)
    54,468 more women votes than men.
    71 ttl 305,792 D’s=103,825 (33.95%) R=131767 (43.1%) U’s =70,200 (22.95%)
    gender F D=61,849 R= 67,528 U=33,826
    gender M D=41,570 R=63,928 U=35,983

  9. I think when the laundry is on the line, you’ll be correct about the significant leftward lean of, in particular, white, college-educated women under 40. I think Dems everywhere, me included, are just jumping at shadows because of 2016 related phobias.

  10. 2016 was 2016. Democracy is again being relearned by the American electorate. They are the one’s we have been waiting for. There is so much structural electoral problems with the R side of the equation. Under 40 now 23.5% of the vote where U’s comprise 39% of that grouping (presumptive to vote 60%+ or +30,000 added to D’s in under 40 (36%) +130,000 or all told this is +100,000 for D side. I see the vote pretty much splitting 2-3% in all other age groups. What is normally a 2-3% D win in CO is increased from a 50,000 win to a 150,000 blow out.

  11. Bob, your math has provided me with some comfort and a rising sense of optimism this morning.

    Thank you. It’ll be very interesting to see if we have a margin over 100k.

  12. Get out and vote for the GOP in Nov. to save the country from NAZI Commie Demoncrat liberal mobs!They want to make America into another Venezuela!Obama almost got us there! Now that America is great again because of Pres.Trump let’s keep it that way!

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