The general rule is Colorado incumbent governors and senators win re-election. But, the rule has been suspended in moments of great turmoil. The 1970s was the last period of difficult times for Colorado incumbents. Two incumbent senators were defeated in 1972 and 1978 and one incumbent governor (1974).
The Vietnam War, Watergate, the rise of environmentalism and the coming of political age of the Baby Boomers destabilized the political environment and produced exceptionally high levels of dislike of the establishment and churn in the political marketplace.
The weak Great Recession recovery, the endless War on Terror and rise of the Millennial Generation is fueling the current turmoil and Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper and Senator Udall could be the victims.