Politics

Colorado 2022 Election Polls Update: Welcome to Blowout City?

Despite the three letters displayed behind Governor Jared Polis and Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera in the photo above, a red wave isn't forecast in their race against Republican gubernatorial nominee Heidi Ganahl.
Despite the three letters displayed behind Governor Jared Polis and Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera in the photo above, a red wave isn't forecast in their race against Republican gubernatorial nominee Heidi Ganahl. heidiforgovernor.com/polisforcolorado.com
Election day is next Tuesday, November 8. But polls suggest that the chances for an upset in the Colorado races for governor, senator and congressional representatives are strikingly low, with none of the underdogs given even a two-in-ten chance of triumphing.

This analysis comes courtesy of FiveThirtyEight, considered the gold standard for election analysis. The website doesn't always get it right, as evidenced by the 2016 presidential contest, which it favored Hillary Clinton to win — though founder Nate Silver subsequently pointed out that FiveThirtyEight gave Donald Trump a better chance than just about any other polling service. But overall, the site's statistics since 2008 have been extremely impressive, particularly in blowout scenarios.

And most of the big-name competitions in Colorado this year qualify.

FiveThirtyEight analyzes "incumbency, polls, fundraising, previous experience and endorsements" in its predictions. The information is then fed into a model that "simulates the election 40,000 times to see who wins most often" in order to provide a sample of 100 outcomes. From this data, the site assigns odds that one candidate or another will score a victory based on a 1-to-100 scale that's updated daily leading up to the election.

In the matchup between incumbent Governor Jared Polis and Republican challenger Heidi Ganahl, the latest figures, posted at 9:23 a.m. November 2, gave Ganahl less than a one in 100 chance of coming out on top.

This gap is hardly unusual. Four incumbent House of Representative members — Democrats Diana DeGette (District 1) and Joe Neguse (District 2), as well as Republicans Ken Buck (District 4) and Doug Lamborn (District 5) — are just as likely to retain their seats. Likewise, FiveThirtyEight currently sets the odds for the opponents of incumbent Jason Crow, the Democrat elected in District 4, and the ultra-divisive Lauren Boebert, the Republican who was first elected to District 3 two years ago, at two in 100 and three in 100, respectively.

The closest of the congressional faceoffs aren't all that tight, either. At present, Democrat Brittany Pettersen holds an 86-to-14 advantage over Republican challenger Erik Aadland in her bid to succeed retiring 7th District Congressman Ed Perlmutter. And even though the new 8th Congressional District was supposed to have been drawn to expressly enhance competition and provide its growing number of Latino residents a greater voice, things don't appear to have worked out that way. FiveThirtyEight shows Republican Barb Kirkmeyer winning in 89 of 100 models and Democrat nominee Yadira Caraveo the victor in just eleven of 100 simulations.

As for the Senate contest between incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Joe O'Dea, the latest scenario score puts the current senator ahead 92-8.

FiveThirtyEight isn't tracking the Colorado Secretary of State race pitting incumbent Democrat Jena Griswold against Republican Pam Anderson or Democrat Phil Weiser's efforts to fend off Republican John Kellner and remain Colorado's attorney general. And neither is it offering analysis on Republicans' efforts to regain the majority in the Colorado House and Senate — arguably the most suspenseful aspect of the 2022 election in Colorado. Polling is rare for such spots, but as local TV viewers know all too well, big bucks are being spent in regard to several offices — most notably the District 20 Senate seat. Wealthy developer Tim Walsh, a Republican, is hoping to best Democratic state rep Lisa Cutter, and has reportedly loaned his campaign nearly $1 million to aid him in this cause.

If Walsh and six other fellow Republicans succeed in flipping state Senate districts from blue to red, Polis will have a lot tougher time pushing his agenda should he earn another four-year term as governor — which he's considered a near-lock to do.

Here are the FiveThirtyEight odds for Colorado governor, senator and members of Congress based on its modeling data, updated on November 2, complete with links to the site offering more details.

Governor
Heidi Ganahl wins fewer than 1 in 100 models
Jared Polis wins more than 99 in 100 models

U.S. Senate
Joe O'Dea wins 8 in 100 models
Michael Bennet wins 92 in 100 models

U.S. House of Representatives: District 1
Jennifer Qualteri wins fewer than 1 in 100 models
Diana DeGette wins more than 99 in 100 models

U.S. House of Representatives: District 2
Marshall Dawson wins fewer than 1 in 100 models
Joe Neguse wins more than 99 in 100 models

U.S. House of Representatives: District 3
Lauren Boebert wins 97 in 100 models
Adam Frisch wins 3 in 100 models

U.S. House of Representatives: District 4
Ken Buck wins more than 99 in 100 models
Ike McCorkle wins fewer than 1 in 100 models

U.S. House of Representatives: District 5
Doug Lamborn wins more than 99 in 100 models
David Torres wins fewer than 1 in 100 models

U.S. House of Representatives: District 6
Steven Monahan wins 2 in 100 models
Jason Crow wins 98 in 100 models

U.S. House of Representatives: District 7
Erik Aadland wins 14 in 100 models
Brittany Pettersen wins 86 in 100 models

U.S. House of Representatives: District 8
Barb Kirkmeyer wins 89 in 100 models
Yadira Caraveo wins 11 in 100 models
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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