Jun 28, 2022 - News

5 things to watch on primary election day in Colorado

Illustration of a pattern of checkmarks, some blue, some red.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Colorado's primary election is a low-interest affair, but holds huge implications for the 2022 midterms.

What to know: Voters can return mail ballots or make their picks in person until 7pm today.

  • The initial results will be posted at 7pm, but counting will continue into Wednesday and beyond.
  • Winners will advance to the November general election.

By the numbers: Registered voter turnout remains low, at 16%, through Sunday, according to the latest state figures.

What to watch: Here's a look at the five top storylines we're watching on election night.

1) The GOP ticket: Republican voters will decide its top-of-the-ticket candidates for U.S. Senate, governor and secretary of state. In each contest, the red line between the candidates is whether they believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

  • U.S. Senate contender Ron Hanks, governor candidate Greg Lopez and secretary of state challenger Tina Peters all are siding with former President Trump and his unsubstantiated claims around that election.

2) GOP battle: U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, one of the most outspoken Trump supporters in Congress, is facing her first challenge as an incumbent — from within her own party. State Sen. Don Coram, a moderate Republican, is mounting a low-budget bid for the seat, relying on unaffiliated voters to help push him over the edge.

  • Boebert's firebrand tweets and hardline positions give her a fundraising edge in this race, and the district moved even more toward the Republican side after the latest redistricting.

3) Control of Congress: Two Denver metro area districts are of interest as bellwethers for Republican attempts to retake the U.S. House.

  • Republicans will pick their nominees in the Jefferson-County-centered 7th District and Adams County's newly drawn 8th District, with hopes of landing a proven candidate with the ability to raise money and appeal to moderates. The Democratic nominees face no primary challengers.

4) Big money: Democrats are spending millions on a handful of races to elevate the most conservative candidate and attack GOP contenders who pose a more serious challenge in November.

  • One of the candidates in the firing line is Joe O'Dea in the U.S. Senate race. To counter, the construction company owner put in more than $1.5 million of his own money, and he's also getting help from well-funded outside groups.

5) State Legislature: The General Assembly will start to take shape.

  • Five districts will know their state lawmaker next year after the primary vote — three are running unopposed, while the other two won't have partisan opposition in November.
  • In many other House and Senate seats, the primary winners will cruise to victory in the general election because the districts are drawn so heavily to favor one party.

Related: Check out our 1-minute voter guides, and find a drop box and polling center.

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