DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s voter rolls are following a national trend to the right, though in Colorado that simply means a slightly redder shade of blue.
Recent Gallup voter polls show Americans got progressively more Republican and less Democratic over the course of 2021, particularly among independents. Colorado followed suit.
A total 49% of voters had a Democratic identification at the beginning of 2021, either directly as a Democrat voter or as an independent voter with Democratic leanings. That dropped to 42% by the last quarter. Meanwhile Republicans started the year with only 40% the American partisan identity and grew to 47% by the end of the year.
Party identity didn’t change as much as the way independents lean.
Democratic-leaning independents were 19% of Americans at the beginning of the year and 14% by the end. Republican-leaning independents made exactly the opposite trend, starting the year as 15% of Americans and ending with 19%.
Colorado saw one of the same patterns between January 2021 and January 2022, but by smaller amounts in the Democratic-leaning state. There were fewer Democrats, fewer Democratic-leaning independents and more Republican-leaning independents.
The percentage of Colorado’s voters who were Democrats dropped 1%. Unlike the U.S., Colorado did not add more Republican-locked voters – that number went down 1.5%.
Like the U.S., though, Colorado’s independents began leaning more Republican. The percentage of unaffiliated voters who lean red went up 4% while the percentage of independents who lean Democratic dropped 3.5%.
This could make for close races in the upcoming midterm elections, though Colorado’s Democratic-leaning independents still outnumber red-leaning independents two-to-one.
Two of Colorado’s congressional districts are split evenly between Republican and Democratic voters with a plurality of independent voters: District 7, which will be an open challenge after Rep. Ed Perlmutter announced he would not seek reelection, and the newly-minted District 8.