Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost his governor’s race this week. If that $50+ million contest had played out in Colorado, the Republican candidate would have won.

Colorado is more Republican than Virginia, so – adjusting to Colorado’s political realities – a losing performance in Virginia predicts victory in Colorado.

What the Cuccinelli race tells Colorado’s Republican candidates for governor is very simple:

Match Cuccinelli’s exit poll numbers among our Republicans, Democrats and Independents, and you will win in 2014.

Virginia‘s Democrats enjoyed a 5% turnout edge in this election. In Colorado, Republicans had a 1.75% turnout edge in 2012 (and a 5.9% edge in 2010). Apply Virginia exit poll percentages (by party) to Colorado’s last two elections’ actual turnout by party, and here’s what you get:

2014 estimate using 2012’s voters 2010’s voters
Hickenlooper would get 45.0% 43.7%
Republicans would get 47.8% 49.6%
Others would get 7.3% 6.6%

Colorado’s Republican candidates reasonably should better Cuccinelli’s performance, given all the criticism of Cooch’s campaign even before a single vote was counted. Republican donors should believe Hickenlooper will lose in 2014.

Final thoughts. Dems’ prowess isn’t guaranteed. ColoradoPols said the “Hick Hike” Amendment 66 campaign’s “’under the radar’ field campaign effort … completely failed.” Three times this year (with the two recalls) Coloradans have rejected the Hickenlooper/Democrat agressive, big-spending agenda. A small-government Republican should do much better in next year’s Colorado election … especially since Hickenlooper has never, ever had a tough campaign.


Turnout by party from Colorado Secretary of State. Virginia performance by party from 2013 exit poll. Colorado turnout and Virginia’s exit poll performance model a “Colorado” result for 2014. (Calculations are mine.) “3rd” means third party candidates’ vote totals. See table for base data and calculation results.

CO 2012 Turnout CO 2010 Turnout VA Dem % VA Repub % VA 3rd %
Democrat 852,464 615,324 95% 2% 3%
Republican 897,926 722,226 4% 92% 4%
Other 844,260 492,199 38% 47% 15%
2,594,650 1,829,749
From Dems From Repubs From Independents TOTAL
Dem 2012 809,841 35,917 320,819 1,166,577
Repub 2012 17,049 826,092 396,802 1,239,943
3rd 2012 25,574 35,917 126,639 188,130
Dem 2010 584,558 28,889 187,036 800,482
Repub 2010 12,306 664,448 231,334 908,088
3rd 2010 18,460 28,889 73,830 121,179