Politics & Policy

Early Voter Returns: Congressional District Breakdown Final Update

In the final look at Colorado’s early voter returns, here are the partisan breakdowns by the state’s 7 Congressional Districts. The three competitive races–CO-3, CO-4, and CO-7–are also highlighted with maps of the district.

Democrats lead by significant margins in CO-1 (Denver) and CO-2 (Boulder), their traditional strongholds, in terms of absolute turnout–number of votes and percentage of the total early vote. However, the Democrats are trailing by 4.0 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, in terms of get-out-the-vote percentages. Republican enthusiasm exceeds Democratic turnout even in heavily Democratic districts. This would be less significant but for the fact that Republicans have turned out their “active” voters at a higher percentage in each of Colorado’s 7 Congressional Districts, an average of 3.24%:

CO-1: +4.0% GOP

CO-2: +1.8% GOP

CO-3: +3.6% GOP

CO-4: +2.6% GOP

CO-5: +2.8% GOP

CO-6: +1.9% GOP

CO-7: +6.0% GOP

“Active” voter percentages by CD current through 10/01/10. First column indicates early votes returned and percentage of total early votes by affiliation, while the second percentage indicates the number of early votes returned against the number of “active” affiliated voters in the district. For example, in CO-1, 20,754 Republican ballots have been returned, or 23.0 percent of the total early votes counted. Those 20,754 Republican ballots represent 38.1 percent of total “active” Republicans in the district.

Important caveats: permanent-mail-in-voter status (PMIV) varies significantly from county to county within each Congressional District. While Republican-friendly counties like Douglas County are above 70 percent PMIV (and thus more likely to have good early vote totals), some Democrat-friendly counties like Pueblo County have PMIV under 50 percent. This means that heavier Democratic turnout is likely–if it comes–to be on Election Day, and therefore, not reflected in early vote totals or percentages. That being said, it seems apparent that the GOP has captured the early vote enthusiasm, even in districts where Republicans are traditionally at a significant disadvantage. This has ramifications not only for the three House seats, but all statewide races, especially for U.S. Senate and the Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Treasurer races.

The takeaway analysis is that Rep. Betsy Markey is likely toast, that Scott Tipton is in a great spot to beat Rep. John Salazar, and that Ryan Frazier is poised to take Rep. Ed Perlmutter to the wire–and possibly a recount.

That means Republicans will likely pick up two seats, and if the wave manages to make it all the way to the Rocky Mountains from the Rust Belt and Upper Midwest, then perhaps three seats. Either way, expect the GOP to hold a partisan advantage in Colorado’s Congressional delegation for the first time since 2006.


REP: 20,754 (23.0%) vs. (38.1%)

DEM: 50,360 (55.8%) vs. (34.1%)

UAF: 19,104 (21.2%) vs. (21.2%)

TOTAL: 90,218 (30.6% of “active”)


REP: 37,622 (31.6%) vs. (39.1%)

DEM: 50,994 (42.8%) vs. (37.3%)

UAF: 30,520 (25.6%) vs. (24.3%)

TOTAL: 119,136 (33.0% of “active”)

CO-3: Three-term incumbent Rep. John Salazar (D) vs. Scott Tipton (R)

REP: 51,412 (44.2%) vs. (39.0%)

DEM: 40,826 (35.1%) vs. (35.4%)

UAF: 24,140 (20.7%) vs. (24.3%)

TOTAL: 116,378 (33.3% of “active”)

CO-4: Freshman incumbent Rep. Betsy Markey (D) vs. Cory Gardner (R)

REP: 55,148 (45.9%) vs. (39.5%)

DEM: 35,598 (29.6%) vs. (36.9%)

UAF: 29,439 (24.5%) vs. (25.4%)

TOTAL: 120,185 (33.9% of “active”)


REP: 53,471 (53.4%) vs. (33.7%)

DEM: 24,069 (24.1%) vs. (30.9%)

UAF: 22,504 (22.5%) vs. (22.3%)

TOTAL: 100,044 (29.5% of “active”)


REP: 87,612 (49.4%) vs. (44.9%)

DEM: 50,444 (28.4%) vs. (43.0%)

UAF: 39,337 (22.2%) vs. (29.4%)

TOTAL: 177,393 (39.5% of “active”)

CO-7: Two-term incumbent Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) vs. Ryan Frazier (R)

REP: 42,150 (26.4%) vs. (48.6%)

DEM: 46,406 (40.1%) vs. (42.6%)

UAF: 27,233 (23.5%) vs. (29.7%)

TOTAL: 115,789 (40.0% of “active”)


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