Last night was not a fun one for Colorado Republicans. Candidate after candidate lost races for statewide offices, and both branches of the state legislature are now blue. While that blue wave swept across Colorado, guests at the Republican watch party at the Marriott in Lone Tree couldn't hide their disappointment.
The election night of wounded pride began with the Pledge of Allegiance. For the political party whose president demands that NFL players stand for the flag, there wasn't one to be found at this party, so someone pulled up a picture of one on an iPhone. A Trump-mask-wearing man with a flag appeared later, but it was too late.
Not long after the pledge, results started rolling in, and they didn't look pretty. Governor and treasurer went to the Democrats. Later in the evening, Secretary of State Wayne Williams delivered his concession speech after losing to Democratic challenger Jena Griswold.
Attorney general candidate George Brauchler told the audience that his race was too close to call that night. Joking that guests would have to be there all night, Brauchler said, "I’ve been told there will be an open bar paid for by the Colorado Sun." Hours later, local Denver TV stations declared Democratic candidate Phil Weiser as the winner. It's still unclear if the Sun will be comping drinks paid for at the cash bar.
The highlight of the night for supporters came from breaking news thousands of miles away. As Republicans were huddled around one of the TVs airing Fox News, newscasters announced Ron DeSantis as the winner in the Florida gubernatorial race. The crowd cheered, something heard only two other times last night: when results were announced showing that Senator Claire McCaskill lost in Missouri and when the election results came back for Proposition 112. The oil and gas setback initiative had gotten trounced, much to their delight.
While other results rolled in, one candidate, Mark Barrington, rolled onto the stage. Barrington stood on a hover board while he delivered his concession speech after losing in the 7th Congressional District race to incumbent Ed Perlmutter.
But the night was no joking matter. Representative Mike Coffman lost his seat representing the 6th Congressional District, saying what many political analysts had been repeating about the nation's elections in general. "In this race, it was a referendum on the president."
Whether a referendum on Trump or local and state politics at their most competitive, last night was painful for Colorado Republicans.
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