Three Takeaways On Colorado’s State Senate Races This Fall

Oct 15, 2018

There are several Senate seats up for grabs this November at Colorado’s statehouse. KUNC’s Desmond O’Boyle sat down with Robert Duffy, a professor at Colorado State University’s political science department to discuss what’s at stake this fall.

Here are three takeaways from their conversation.

There are five “battleground” seats. To flip the Senate, Democrats must win four. Republicans only need two to maintain control.

Robert Duffy: District 5 is Kerry Donovan running against the Republican challenger Olen Lund.

District 16 is down in Jefferson County, it's Tammy Story; the Democrat is challenging Tim Neville, the Republican incumbent.

District 20 is an open seat currently held by Cheri Jahn, who was a Democrat and flipped to become an 

CSU Professor Robert Duffy
Credit photo by: Robert Castagna

independent. That’s an open seat now, so that's Jesse Danielson against Christine Jensen, that's down in Adams County.

District 22 is (Democrat) Britany Pettersen against (Republican) Tony Sanchez. That's a seat that was from a formerly held by Senator Andrew Kerr, a Democrat.

And lastly, District 24 is Faith Winter, the democratic house member is challenging Beth Martinez Humenik.

Money has had a big effect on Colorado Senate races. While Democrats are out-spending Republicans, the gap is closing.

Duffy: But the gap has narrowed gap has been narrowed a bit by the amount of outside money that's coming in from groups like the Senate Majority Fund on the Republican side and Coloradans For Fairness on the Democratic side.

Most of the money (from outside groups) are coming in on the Republican side. About two weeks ago it appeared to be almost a 2-to-1 advantage Republican had over Democrats. There's just a ton of money coming into these races.  

A cloud of sexual misconduct and assault allegations, which loom over both parties, may not be the primary motive for voters this November, but it did inspire more women to run for office

Duffy: There was a big upsurge enthusiasm among Democratic voters, and there was a large influx of women candidates for a number of the seats. So, I think it might have had an effect there with that people who decided that they were going to run for office, donate money, and volunteer for campaigns.