Activity by Progressive/Democratic-Aligned Groups in Colorado

• America Votes Colorado has operated out of Denver since 2005 and has a record of successful activism for election modernization in the state and is led by State Director Kelly Byrne.

Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable, part of the State Voices network, aims to create a more equitable, just, and inclusive Colorado.

Table Director  Melanie Herrera Bortz

• Colorado is one of twelve states targeted by SwingLeft as part of its Super State Strategy.

Our primary objectives in Colorado are to: 1) flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Cory Gardner and 2) win the state’s nine Electoral College votes. (Colorado’s state government is already blue after the state Senate flipped in the 2018 midterms.)

The pathway to retake the Senate necessarily runs through Colorado. To flip this seat, Democrats need to improve on margins from the last Senate election in 2014 in three key urban communities and their surrounding suburbs: Pueblo, Fort Collins, and Denver. Replicating voter turnout levels from the 2016 and 2018 elections in these three areas will be key to achieving our goals in Colorado.

1 United States Senate seat to flip
9 Electoral College votes

John Hickenlooper
Cory Gardner

17% of Colorado households at high or extreme risk of wildfires: In Colorado, climate change-induced weather events between 2017 and 2019 - including the 475,000 acres lost to wildfires in 2018 - have resulted in economic losses of at least $6.5 billion. Colorado’s natural environment is also endangered by record-low mountain snow and some of the most significant temperature increases in the region.

11 hours between each Colorado gun death, on average: Colorado receives a “C+” grade from Giffords Law Center for its gun safety laws. The state doesn’t require gun owners to hold a license, undergo a waiting period, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms. Gun dealers in the Centennial State do not need to be licensed to sell firearms, either.

$6.6 billion funding deficit for Colorado schools since 2009: Colorado’s consistent underfunding of its schools culminated in teacher walkouts and strikes in 2018 and 2019. After a three-day strike by over 2,000 Denver teachers in 2019, the city’s school district awarded an 11.7% average pay increase along with an overhaul of the merit-pay system. Still, Colorado does not have a statewide salary schedule for teachers, who make 40% less than the average salary for all occupations across the state.

What's at stake facts updated June 2020