The battle for control of the State House is “Fast and Furious” (without, we hope, the gun-running).
It isn’t just the fact that Republicans control the House currently by a one vote margin. It is also that – given the gerrymander they rammed through with the connivance of the Supreme Court – the Democrats probably overestimated the likelihood that 2012 would be identical to 2008.
The collapse of Obama’s numbers after the first presidential debate shows the Dems goofed on that one.
My view is that the 2010 election, below the two top races, is a potentially valid indicator for directional change (shifting political advantage from the Democrats to the Republicans). With that in mind, I did some number crunching. Current 2012 active voter registration and down-ticket 2010 results were my basis. I used recent partisan differences in voter enthusiasm and drop-off as factors. One “geek” point: my results do have a handsome R-squared of 45%. This, to me, suggests that the changes of 2010 have persisted in Colorado.
Control of the State House rests with just a few races. This list includes both districts that have political statistics that are close to even plus names on the Republican Party’s “Trailblazer” list. Omitting the “safe Republican” seats, here’s my list, ranked starting with the most likely Republican victory. (I exclude Trailblazers Jennifer George and Paul Brown as shoo-in winners, based only on the numbers, however.)
- Pigott, HD 33 (Broomfield)
- Watson, HD 3 (Littleton)
- Ramirez, HD 29 (Arvada)
- McConnell, HD 26 (Eagle/Routt)
- Attwood, HD 28, (Lakewood)
- Acree, HD 40 (Aurora)
- Enstrom, HD 23 (Lakewood)
- Hilliard, HD 11 (Longmont)
- Vande Krol, HD 35 (Westminster)
- Leydendecker, HD 24 (Golden)
Don’t make too much of the exact order. Acree and Attwood are effectively tied, as are Enstrom and Hilliard.
One caution: I have not taken into account the financial status of these candidates nor of their opponents’ fundraising. Before you make a bar bet, look those up.