05 November 2018

Election Eve

In twenty-four hours, the midterm elections will finally be over.

It is almost certain that there will be more Democrats in elected office as a result of this election than there are now. There is a very good chance that Democrats will control the U.S. House of Representatives and there is an outside chance that Democrats will control the U.S. Senate, although that could easily swing a seat or two in the GOPs favor. The bigger the blue wave, the more decisive a rejection of Donald Trump the election will be.

In Colorado, Democratic turnout relative to Republican turnout is looking exceptionally good in early voting, and usually, it is Democrats and not Republicans who experience a final surge on election day itself. Unaffiliated voters lean rather strongly toward the Democrats this year as well, and the polling that has been available for candidates has been looking good. The 6th Congressional District in Colorado is widely expected to flip from red to blue. There is an outside chance that the 3rd or 4th Congressional Districts could also flip.

It is not just possible, but probable, that Colorado's state government will be controlled entirely by Democrats as a result of this election. The State House, the State Senate, and all of the major statewide elective offices are likely to be won by Democrats. It isn't unthinkable that Democrats will not just control both chambers of the General Assembly but will do so with substantial margins. It is very like that Jared Polis will become the Governor of Colorado, the first openly gay man to serve as a Governor in any U.S. state. More years with a Democratic Governor also means that Colorado's courts will have a larger share of Democratic appointees. Merit based selection of judicial candidates in Colorado means that is something less dramatic than it would be in the federal system, but the Governor's political party does influence the makeup and ideology of the judiciary even in Colorado.

Mostly the ballot issue results are likely to be good news as well. But, it looks like horrible Amendment 74, the brainchild of the oil and gas industry, which will allow people to sue for changes in property values caused by legislation will pass by a large margin as well. This will be the worst change to Colorado's constitution since TABOR.

But, will it be enough? Will there be unfortunate surprises as there were in 2016? Voter suppression isn't a big problem in Colorado, but it is in much of the United States. Right wing political violence has surged. This year's election will likely be a Democratic high water mark and what can't be achieved this year may be unattainable. If that high water mark is modest, then the future looks bleak indeed.

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