UPDATE: A reader just emailed the Peak ([email protected]) and told us that the Michael Hancock campaign just sent out a robodial from former George Washington Patriot and Denver Nugget hardwood hero Chauncey Billups, urging Denverites to vote for Hancock. After getting bounced from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, Chauncey has apparently decided to use his new found free time to do some politicking. No word yet on whether the Birdman plans to weigh in on the Mayor’s race.
It's been a while since we've covered the Denver Mayoral race and we wanted to check back in now that there is less than a week left until ballots are due. The race is sure to go to a runoff with no candidate polling even close to over 50%.
At this point it's a fight to make it into the top two, with Michael Hancock, James Mejia and Chris Romer the only ones with a legitimate shot to make it past the first round.
Our lack of interest in the race has apparently been shared by the 91% of Denver voters who have yet to turn in their ballots as of today. Turnout has been so low you'd think there was a boycott. Off year elections almost always have lower turnout than the big federal elections in even numbered years, but this is particularly low.
The general rule of thumb for the return of mail-in ballots in Colorado, and the election is mail-only, is that one third of ballots are returned immediately, one third trickle in over the next few weeks, and then the last third show up in the final day or two before they are due. The last open Mayor's race was in 2003 and had a first round turnout of 46.8%.
And not only is turnout tiny, but so are the top three candidates. The Denver Post's Jeremy Meyer has a great roundup of the tiny tidbits on the Denver Mayoral race that political junkies like us can't get enough of. Perhaps the funniest part is the observation that the three top mayoral candidates are all midgets, standing at a runty 5'7''.
Snark aside, what this low turnout means is that conservatives can have an outsized impact on the race. With such a small voter pool, if any of the three candidates are able to gain a solid plurality of Republican votes they will gain a serious leg up against the others.
How often are Republicans able to affect elections in Denver? Even when we had a truly amazing candidate in Dr. Mike Fallon running for CD1, he wasn't able to come close to defeating Denver Socialist Dianna DeGette.
So we urge our conservative Denver-based readers: get in the game. Your vote will finally matter.