There have been numerous occasions in Denver mayoral elections that the second place finisher in the general election wins the runoff. Michael Hancock, who was behind Chris Romer in the May 3 general election, beat Romer in a 16-point landslide June 7 runoff.
Federico Peña in his 1987 re-election, Wellington Webb in his 1991 open seat and his 1995 re-election won after losing their respective general elections.
Another way to examine the results is through the city precinct map. Tina Griego, Denver Post columnist, published them (general election and runoff) on June 9.
Although Romer added votes to his general election total, examining the precinct maps shows, he, in fact, contracted on a narrow base of 114 precincts after having won 212 in the general election. Romer won few of Mejia’s precincts but lost more than 100 where he had received a plurality during the multi-candidate general election.
Hancock’s 31,000 votes in the general election were concentrated in only 89 precincts. He continued to dominate those precincts at the 70 percent level in the run-off but expanded his support into the west side and down the central Platte Valley with the exception of the wealthy precincts points around Country Club. Also, Hancock won a significant number of precincts in the south central and southeast part of the city.
Denver Post - Griego: In Denver mayoral vote, no boundaries were sacred