COLORADO
     Nov. 3, 2020 Senate

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+John Hickenlooper (D) 
1,731,114 53.50%
Cory Gardner (R) i 1,429,492
44.18%
Raymon Anthony Doane (L) 56,262
1.74%
Daniel Doyle (AVP)
9,820
0.30%
Stephan "Seku" Evans (Uni.)
8,971
0.28%

3,235,659

Active Voters: 3,793,790.  Ballots Cast: 3,295,666.
Plurality: 301,622 votes (9.32 percentage points).

 CO Secretary of State



DEMOCRATIC PICK UP
Notes: 
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) defeated U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R) in his bid for a second term.  Colorado has been trending Democratic over recent cycles and Democrats viewed this as a prime pick up opportunity.  Indeed a March 5, 2019 article by Stuart Rothenberg in Roll Call identified Gardner as "the most vulnerable Senate Republican."

In the June 30, 2020 Republican primary Gardner was unchallenged.  Hickenlooper, who served two terms as governor (elected in 2010 and 2014) and two terms as mayor of Denver (elected
in 2003 and 2007), had a background as a brewpub owner and geologist.  He launched his Senate campaign on Aug. 22, 2019, a week after ending his campaign for president (+).  Hickenlooper faced former Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff, who lost the 2010 Senate primary to Michael Bennet. 

In the closing month of the primary campaign, ethics complaints, raised in 2018 against Hickenlooper by the Public Trust Institute, an entity formed by a former Republican Speaker of the House, emerged as a significant issue.  The group charged Hickenlooper with multiple instances of accepting gifts including private jet travel.  The state's Independent Ethics Commission held a hearing on June 4 and found Hickenlooper in contempt for refusing a subpoena to appear; he did testify the next day and ultimately agreed to pay $2,750 in fines for what he termed "two relatively minor inadvertent mistakes."  Hickenlooper weathered the storm and defeated Romanoff by 58.65% to 41.35%.
 

Around this time, on June 17, Gardner achieved a major success when the Senate passed his bill, the Great American Outdoors Act, by a vote of 73-25.  The legislation provided permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund as well as funding to address the maintenance backlog at national parks.  It passed the House in July and President Trump signed it into law on Aug. 5, 2020 (>).  However, on July 28 the LCV Victory Fund named Gardner one of its 2020 "Dirty Dozen," noting his 11% lifetime League of Conservation Voters score (>). 

In the campaign Gardner frequently highlighted his work on the Great American Outdoors Act, terming it "the most significant environmental accomplishment in this country in over 50 years, the largest infusion of dollars into our public lands in the history of this country."  More generally he pointed to his record as the third most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate.  He also frequently raised the ethics charges against Hickenlooper.  

Democrats sought to make an issue of Gardner's loyalty to President Trump.  Gardner appeared with Trump at a rally in Colorado Springs on Feb. 20 (>).  A Senate Majority PAC ad from October, "Peanut Butter and Jelly," compared Gardner and Trump to peanut butter and jelly, coffee and cream, and macaroni and cheese, stating that "Gardner stuck with Trump 98% of the time (>)."

Gardner and Hickenlooper debated four times.  The first meeting, hosted by the Pueblo Chieftain, took place in the studio of Pueblo Community College's
Center for New Media on Oct. 2 (>).  The event was unusual for four-minute introductory remarks.  The second debate, was taped on Oct. 4 by Telemundo Denver, and run with Spanish translation on Oct. 6.  The next debate, hosted by Denver7, The Denver Post and Colorado Public Radio News, took place at Denver7 studios on Oct. 9 (>).  The final debate organized by 9News (KUSA-TV), ColoradoPolitics and the Coloradoan, was held without an audience and with social distancing at CSU's LSC Theatre in Fort Collins on Oct. 13 (>).
 
According to campaign manager M.E. Smith, the Hickenlooper campaign had a 38-person staff and its budget included "the largest paid communications campaign in state history."  The Center for Responsive Politics reports the Gardner campaign raised $28.1 million and spent $27.3 million and the Hickenlooper campaign raised $43.0 million and spent $41.4 million (>).

 

Campaign Managers:
John Hickenlooper: 
M.E. Smith
Campaign manager on the Hickenlooper 2020 presidentiial campaign, July-Aug. 2019.  Campaign manager on Sen. Bob Casey (PA)'s 2018 re-election.  Deputy campaign manager on Sen. Michael Bennet's 2016 re-election.  Deputy campaign manager on Gov. Hickenlooper's 2014 re-election.  Senior policy director and other policy roles to Gov. Hickenlooper.  M.P.P. from Harvard Kennedy School of Government; bachelor's degree from Tufts University.  Grew up in Idaho; born in Alaska.

Cory Gardner:  Casey Contres
(Feb. 2019)  Press secretary to Sen. Cory Gardner, Apr. 2017-Jan. 2019.  Communications director to U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, June 2014-Apr. 2017; also campaign manager on Bill Shuster for Congress, May-Nov. 2016 and political director (Jan.-May 2014) and field director (Apr.-Dec. 2013) on Bill Shuster for Congress.  Campaign manager on Janet S. Anderson's campaign for Pennsylvania State Senate (Erie), Aug.-Nov. 2012.  Congressional aide/press assistant to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, Aug. 2011-July 2012.  B.A. in political science and journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2011.












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