The political winner statewide and of many larger county elections must have support from a majority of unaffiliated voters who are 46 percent of Colorado registered voters. During the last decade, 2010 to 2020, a wave of 1,290,000 new voters registered primarily unaffiliated. The category started at 31 percent, then grew to 42 percent in 2020, and finally to 46 percent in 2022.
At the same time Republicans dropped from their first-place position in 2010 with 36 percent of the electorate to last place and 27 percent in 2020 and slipping to 25 percent today. Democrats improved their position vis-à-vis Republicans but are, in fact, in a weak second place with only 30 percent of registered voters (28% today). The message is that both parties are struggling for members and neither party can win statewide without a majority or more of unaffiliated voters.
Ignoring some of the complexity of a typical vote (i.e., not all party members vote for their registered party, etc.), Republicans will need at a minimum 25 percent more of this electorate, which would equate to 53 percent of the unaffiliated block of voters.
Democrats also depend on a huge block of unaffiliated voters. Since 2018 they have received support from a majority of Colorado’s new unaffiliated voters, reflected in their huge wins for statewide constitutional offices from governor to lower positions. It was repeated across the board in 2022. Democratic federal candidates have also dominated with wins of 13 percent for President Biden (2020) and 15 percent for Senator Bennett (2022). For Bennett to receive 56 percent of the vote if he carried 95 percent of the Democrats and 5 percent of Republicans, he had to receive about 60 percent of unaffiliated voters.