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: