Democrats gain in statewide voter registration in Colorado |

Democrats gain in statewide voter registration in Colorado

Mark K. Matthews
The Denver Post
Colorado’s status as a purple political state is rooted in its even representation among the major political parties, particularly in the swing districts outside Denver. Just two weeks before ballots go to voters, this is how the voter registration breaks down by county. Click on a particular county to see the Oct. 3 voter registration numbers.
The Denver Post |

Pitkin County registered voters

Democrat: 38.7%

Republican: 17.3%

Unaffiliated: 42.5%

Libertarian: 0.9%

Green: 0.5%

Numbers reported are as of Oct. 3.

WASHINGTON — If elections were only about voter registration, then Republican Congressman Mike Coffman this year faces his toughest battle yet — as do statewide GOP candidates from Darryl Glenn to Donald Trump.

Newly released figures from Colorado’s Secretary of State show that the number of active Democratic voters has exceeded Republicans for the first time in 32 years headed into a general election. However, the roughly 999,000 Democrats and nearly 993,000 Republicans still trail the 1.08 million voters who didn’t register with any political party.

Democrats had already surpassed Republicans in the total number of registered voters — which includes both active and inactive voters. But gaining the edge in active voters is more significant because inactive voters don’t receive a mail-in ballot and historically vote much less often.

That could be tough for Republicans running statewide, and the trendline could cause trouble for Coffman too, who faces Democrat Morgan Carroll in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.

According to the latest registration figures, the percentage of active Republican voters in that district is at its lowest level in the October of an election year since the seat was redrawn in 2012.

State statistics show that as of Oct. 3 about 32.2 percent of active voters in the 6th Congressional District were from the GOP. That compares with 33.2 percent in October 2014 and 36 percent in October 2012 — a drop of about 1 and 3.8 percentage points respectively.

Still, Democrats haven’t exactly gained what Republicans have lost in the 6th Congressional District, a suburban district east of Denver that centers on Aurora.

In keeping with the historical trend of higher Democratic turnout in presidential election years, Democrats are at 32.1 percent this year; roughly tied with their 2012 haul of 32.2 percent. Both are greater than its 30.9 percent slice of the pie in 2014, when Coffman defeated Democrat Andrew Romanoff by roughly 9 percentage points.

The figures reinforce what Colorado politicos already knew: Colorado’s 6th Congressional District is a swing seat, and likely will remain so, no matter who wins in November.

The latest voter registration statistics, however, could shed some light on why the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican Super PAC, decided this week to drop $1.3 million into the race.


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