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Who and What Won in Colorado Election 2016

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Last week, we published "Who and What Will Win in Colorado's 2016 Election: An Expert's Predictions," in which political analyst Eric Sondermann offered educated guesses about which ballot issues and candidates would prevail on November 8.

Pundits all over the country had a rough election night, as witnessed by their shock over the election of Donald Trump as the next president.

Sondermann, though, did pretty well, as you'll see. However, there were a few surprises — a slavery-related measure among them.

Below are the results of the election as of this hour, based on numbers supplied by the Colorado Secretary of State's Office and Denver Elections, along with links and analysis.

Amendment T
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

Yes/For:  918,897 — 43.14 percent
No/Against:  1,210,971 — 56.86 percent

Amendment T called for the removal of a reference to slavery in the Colorado Constitution that reads: “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime.” However, the ballot-measure language was poorly written in the extreme; a "yes" vote was required to remove the language, as opposed to a "no" vote. I know of at least one person who accidentally voted to retain the language and had to get a new ballot in order to correct the error. From the looks of these results, there was plenty of confusion to go around — unless there are more slavery revivalists out there than anyone thought.

Amendment U
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

Yes/For:  1,074,168 — 49.27 percent
No/Against:  1,106,218 — 50.73 percent

Like Amendment T, Amendment U was perplexing to many voters. It called for the elimination of a property tax on government property valued at under $6,000, since collecting it often costs more than what it brings in. But that wasn't clear from the language's phrasing, and there was so little publicity about it that voters wound up splitting the difference.

Amendment 69: ColoradoCare
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

From our previous coverage: "The proposal would create a Colorado health-care system with a goal of guaranteeing that everyone in Colorado has health-insurance coverage. Since Amendment 69 won't supersede federal programs such as TRICARE, which focuses on veterans, it's not technically a single-payer plan, but it's close enough to have earned the endorsement of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, a longtime advocate of health-care reform."

Yes/For: 459,411 — 20.32 percent
No/Against:  1,801,634 — 79.68 percent

Sondermann foresaw a big defeat for ColoradoCare. He told us: "No matter how broken our current health-care system might be, this one is just too much: too big, too costly. I don't even think some of the proponents, with the exception of the most ardent, true believers, expect it to pass."

Oh man, was he right.

Amendment 70: Minimum wage
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

From our previous coverage: "Amendment 70 would boost the minimum wage from its current $8.31 per hour to $12 by 2020, with incremental bumps over a three-year period."

Yes/For:  1,255,742 — 54.40 percent
No/Against:  1,052,492 — 45.60 percent

In Sondermann's view, bumping up the minimum wage is a heart-versus-head proposition; the heart wants to raise it, the head has questions. He added that in such contests, the heart usually wins — and it does so in this instance.

Amendment 71: Raise the Bar
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

From our previous coverage: "Amendment 71, known as Raise the Bar, proposes to make it more difficult for constitutional amendments to reach the Colorado ballot by requiring that signatures be collected from 2 percent of all registered voters in each of Colorado’s 35 state senate districts, as opposed to an overall number. Additionally, amendments would no longer be approved by a simple majority; they'd have to notch 55 percent support to win passage."

Yes/For:  1,275,420 — 56.92 percent
No/Against:  965,438 — 43.08 percent

Although Raise the Bar was leading in polls, Sondermann thought a populist backlash against a measure supported by the fracking industry and government elites had a good chance of losing. But the pro-71 forces were much better financed and had celebrity support in the person of John Elway, who appeared in ads urging its passage.

Amendment 72: Tobacco tax hike
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

From our previous coverage: "Amendment 72 would increase state taxes on tobacco products. For example, the tax on cigarettes would go up by $1.75 per pack under the theory that the higher cost will prevent children from starting to smoke and encourage current smokers to quit."

Yes/For:  1,071,844 — 46.39 percent
No/Against:  1,238,483 — 53.61 percent

Most pundits assumed Amendment 72 would pass, given the popularity of so-called sin taxes. But Sondermann urged caution, noting that the tobacco industry had pumped a spectacular amount of money — $17 million-plus — into defeating it. That investment paid off.

Continue for more results from Colorado election 2016.

Proposition 106: End-of-life rights
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

From our previous coverage: "Proposition 106 focuses on end-of-life options. It would legalize what proponents refer to as medical aid in dying — a process by which patients diagnosed with six months or fewer to live can be provided with a prescription they can self-administer in order to end their suffering."

Yes/For:  1,484,307 — 64.68 percent
No/Against:  810,485 — 35.32 percent

Despite opposition from the Catholic Church and other faith organizations, Proposition 106 was a likely winner, in Sondermann's view; he considered it to be perfectly in tune with Colorado's electorate. This turned out to be accurate.

Proposition 107: Presidential primary
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

Yes/For: 1,427,341 — 63.64 percent
No/Against: 815,665 — 36.36 percent

Proposition 108: Participation by unaffiliated voters
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

Yes/For:  1,162,355 — 52.33 percent
No/Against:  1,058,926 — 47.67 percent

From our previous coverage: "Propositions 107 and 108 are related measures that would make changes in the current caucus system used in Colorado when it comes to presidential campaigns. The first would replace the presidential caucus with a primary and make it open. The second would allow unaffiliated voters to take part in primaries, as opposed to requiring individuals to declare themselves to be either Republicans or Democrats."

These two measures struck Sondermann as both necessary and appealing — and they benefited from opposition that was under-financed.

Ballot issue 4B (Denver metropolitan area): SCFD renewal
Three of seven counties reporting

Yes/For:  723,309 — 62.63 percent
No/Against:  431,674 — 37.37 percent

From our previous coverage: "The measure seeks to reauthorize the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, which funds organizations devoted to culture and the arts by way of a 0.1 percent sales tax that's been in place throughout the seven-county Denver metro area for 28 years. Without voters' approval, the tax will expire on June 30, 2018."

There was no organized campaign against 4B, and the Independence Institute's Jon Caldara, who has problems with the concept, acknowledged that it was bound to triumph.

Initiated Ordinance 300 (Denver): Social use of marijuana

From our previous coverage: Here's how the program would work, according to the campaign:

• A business or individual would apply for a permit to allow cannabis consumption in a designated area on their property, which would be limited to adults 21 and older and subject to regulations enforced by the Department of Excise and Licenses and law enforcement, fire, and health officials.

• These spaces must comply with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act and prevent exposure to secondhand smoke; cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school; and cannot be visible from a public right-of-way or anywhere children congregate.

• Consumption area staff must complete training; refrain from consuming any intoxicants in the workplace; strictly observe safety and security measures; and follow protocols for preventing public intoxication, problematic behavior, and underage use, similar to establishments that allow alcohol consumption.

• The City Council will create a task force to study and report on the impact of the ordinance, and the ordinance will expire on December 31, 2020 if the city has not approved comprehensive cannabis consumption regulations prior to that date.

Yes/For: 100,284 votes — 50.86 percent
No/Against: 96,893 votes — 49.14 percent

Denver NORML, which pushed a competing social-use measure that failed to make the Denver ballot, didn't actively campaign for 300, and the competition was clearly tight. Thus far, victory has yet to be declared.

Denver District Attorney

Beth McCann: 133,993 votes — 74.34 percent
Helen Morgan: 46,259 votes — 25.66 percent

McCann, a politician with decades of experience in the Denver area, simply had too much name recognition for Morgan to overcome.

Congressional District 3
Twenty-two of 29 counties reporting

Scott R. Tipton (REP): 177,521 — 54.47 percent
Gail Schwartz (DEM): 132,761 — 40.73 percent

As Sondermann noted, this race was originally thought to be a Tipton walkover, but when the numbers tightened a few weeks back, both parties lavished a surprising amount of cash on the contest. For Tipton, it was money well spent.

Congressional District 6
Two of three counties reporting

Mike Coffman (REP): 162,208 — 51.55 percent
Morgan Carroll (DEM):  133,963 — 42.57 percent

Coffman won re-election in 2014 over Andrew Romanoff, a rising star in the Colorado Democratic Party, by a healthy nine points. While Carroll was arguably an even stronger candidate — so formidable, in fact, that Sondermann saw the race as a dead heat — Coffman is likely to win by a similar margin once all the votes are counted. By the way, all seven of Colorado's congressional incumbents won last night.

United States Senator
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

Michael Bennet (DEM): 1,135,938 — 49.18 percent
Darryl Glenn (REP): 1,055,081 — 45.68 percent

Glenn's bid for the Senate was discounted by Sondermann and pretty much every other prognosticator. But the numbers were far closer than anyone expected, albeit plentiful enough for Bennet to provide him with a victory and another six-year term in office.

United States President
Fifty of 64 counties reporting

Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine (DEM):  1,102,926 — 47.30 percent
Donald J. Trump/Michael R. Pence (REP): 1,042,586 — 44.72 percent

Clinton held on to Colorado, as anticipated. But in the end, it didn't matter.

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