What will happen in the 2020 Colorado House races?
The Rocky Mountain State is up to seven members of the United States House of Representatives. In the 2018 midterm elections, after spending most of the decade being mostly Republicans, the Democrats picked off a seat to give their party a 4 to 3 majority. Soon, we will find out what the 2020 presidential election year has in store for this state and its congressional representation.
This comes at a time when Colorado is as Democratic as it’s been in many years. Republicans suffered a wipeout here in 2018, and now, incumbent US Senator Cory Gardner is the only statewide-elected GOP figure left. We all know he has a tough race for re-election to his seat, so there may be none by the time this is over. In a footnote that has nothing to do with the House races but tells you a lot about Colorado’s trend, should Joe Biden and his running mate win it in 2020, it will be the first time in history Colorado has gone Democratic in the presidential election four straight times.
Republicans in this state are looking for hope. Things for them are not as dire as in, say, California, which is purging Republicans up and down the map. However, they have not had much to celebrate since picking up the Senate seat in 2014.
Our predictions for the Colorado US House races will be updated below all throughout the election cycle.
US House Rating Scale
Every 2020 race on Electionarium is graded on a four-tier scale. There are no tossups here.
2020 Colorado House Races Current Prediction Summary: July 21
Current Colorado US House Map
This seat includes the entirety of the City and County of Denver as well as bits and pieces of the suburbs. Diana DeGette has been in the House since the 1996 election and has not had a tough general election race yet. She will not in 2020, either, and she is the safest of all seven incumbents in the state.
The mountainous 2nd District is strong Democratic territory. Boulder, the main city within the district, is a college town. So is Fort Collins, another sizable town also within this district. You can see where this is going. Democrats have dominated the 2nd for decades and we do not see that stopping now.
RATINGS CHANGE, JULY 12: R2 TO R1
July 12: In what might end up the most stunning primary result of the cycle, Scott Tipton lost the GOP primary for CO-03 to Lauren Boebert. The latter beat Tipton from his right despite being underfunded. The question we’ll seek to answer: Is Lauren Boebert too conservative for this district in what figures to be a Democratic year? At this stage, we suspect Boebert is ahead by a few points until demonstrated otherwise because of the district’s lean. However, if Democrats looked to go on offense and expand the map, given how Colorado is getting away from the GOP, this is one they might consider targeting.
April 10: All of western Colorado and some of south-central Colorado sit in this district, which includes such notable towns as Grand Junction and Pueblo. Republicans tend to do well here, but it is not overwhelming. Scott Tipton survived the Blue Wave in one piece, but it was his closest race since he picked up the seat in 2010. We may end up with a rematch of the 2018 general election, but even if so, the Republicans have more than a reasonable chance to hold this district.
East of the Rockies we have this district, bordering such states as Nebraska and Kansas. They have had their share of conservatives representing them, and the last time the Democrats won in these parts was 2008. The more liberal parts of that district are now in the 2nd District, and since the last wave of redistricting, Cory Gardner and Ken Buck won this seat with relative ease. Gardner is now in the Senate and Buck represents the 4th, and we do not expect that to change in 2020. It would not be a stretch to say this is the most Republican-leaning district in the state.
If the 4th is the state’s most Republican House district, then this is the second. Hell, it might be the first. Colorado Springs and the surrounding area are GOP territory and have been for a while. The answer as to why is easy: this is a big military area. Doug Lamborn and his Republican Party are safe here.
RATINGS CHANGE, JULY 21: D1 TO D2
July 21: We’ve changed this rating for the Denver suburbs because, let’s be honest, there is not much indication the Republicans are competitive in Colorado this year as an organization. At least the GOP recruited a former party chair here, but Jason Crow had over $2 million on hand by the end of June and his Republican opponent was much more underfunded. This went from Republican seat a few years ago to a longshot bid.
April 10: Using our chart above, which has a “weak lean” as one star and “strong lean” as two, this race is about a one and a half. The Republicans lost this suburban Denver seat in the 2018 wave, but do they have a chance of getting it back? Yes, but when you see how many years Republicans represented this district before Jason Crow, remember that it’s a lot less Republican than it used to be. The lean of the district has changed, and we think that both Joe Biden and Jason Crow have a good shot at carrying the 6th this year. Maybe not a great shot, but good enough. It’s the most competitive of the 2020 Colorado House races, but that may not be saying much.
Ed Perlmutter has been in office since the first wave that carried Nancy Pelosi to the speaker’s chair in 2006. Since then, his district has become more Democratic in nature and the GOP isn’t even in visual range of the Democrats now. The best the Republicans can hope for around here is something like a 10-12 point loss.