The Colorado Democratic Party is on the defense in even holding its current four congressional seats, much less win the new competitive 8th District. Democrats everywhere are facing a harsh political climate and most national pundits are predicting a Republican takeover of Congress. Because of redistricting, Colorado Democrats could go from a 4 to 3 Democratic congressional delegation to a 4 to 4, or even 3 to 5 favoring Republicans.
The Democrats challenge:
- The average loss of U.S. House seats for the incumbent president’s first midterm is 26. Republicans take control if they win only 5 seats.
- President Biden’s approval rating continues to decline. The average is 41 percent, but several new polls show it in the “30s.”
- The generic ballot test, which is a good indicator of congressional seat swings, is now negative for Democrats for the first time this year. Republicans are up 4 points on average. Because of apportionment, Democrats historically need a positive rating with a few extra points.
- Early redistricting reports indicate Republicans will pick up seats nationally. In Colorado, an independent process greatly benefitted Republicans by helping their most targeted incumbent, Lauren Boebert (3rd CD), and making more vulnerable a longtime Democratic incumbent, Ed Perlmutter (7th CD). Republicans have already targeted Perlmutter and are spending hundreds of thousands on attack advertisements.
- Most importantly, the new 8th District was made very competitive, and the highest profile early declared candidate, former Weld County Commissioner and current State Senator Republican Barbara Kirkland, is likely now the frontrunner.