Aug 26, 2022 - News

Political Pulse: Where Colorado's legislative battle stands in 2022

State Senate leanings
Data: NCSL; Note: As of June 1, there were 61 state Senate seats across all 50 states that were vacant or held by members who do not identify as Republican or Democrat; Nebraska has a unicameral state legislature and is not included in this map; Map: Nicki Camberg/Axios

The all-Democratic leadership at the Colorado statehouse will face its first significant test in the 2022 midterms.

  • All eyes are on the state Senate.

State of play: Colorado is one of six states where the Senate is divided by five or fewer seats, according to data from the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.

  • And prognosticators say it offers one of the best chances for Republicans to win a state majority during this election cycle, Axios' Stef W. Kight writes.

Yes, but: The GOP enters the final push before November with a black eye after one of its lawmakers defected to the Democratic Party this week and clearly said the GOP should not be in the majority.

  • Republican state Sen. Paul Lundeen, who is leading his party's campaign efforts, dismissed the idea that Kevin Priola's switch will hurt them. "If it were going to be razor thin it would be a challenge. But we don't think it will be," Lundeen told the Colorado Sun.
Statehouse leanings
Data: NCSL; Note: As of June 1, there were 78 state House seats across all 50 states that were vacant or held by members who do not identify as Republican or Democrat; Nebraska has a unicameral state legislature and is not included in this map; Map: Nicki Camberg/Axios

The other chamber: In the state House, where Democrats hold a 17-seat majority, Republicans are not expected to gain much power.

Between the lines: One wildcard is the new legislative district boundaries drawn after the 2020 census.

The big picture: Republicans have dominated Democrats at the state level for over a decade, allowing the GOP to exercise outsized power over policies governing abortion access, gun control, voting, public health and other hot-button issues.

  • Colorado is one of 14 all-Democratic states in the nation. Republicans control everything in 23 states, NCSL reports.

🗳 Political Pulse is a regular Friday feature to help you catch up quick on Colorado politics.

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