Democratic insiders and the University of Denver’s Director of American Politics are predicting 2022 will be rough on Colorado Democrats.

Seth Masket, Director of DU’s Center on American Politics, told a panel earlier this month Republicans could potentially win both the 7th and 8th Congressional District races.

The new 8th district encompassing Adams and Weld Counties presents an acute problem for Democrats, according to Democrat lobbyist Melanie Layton.

Candidates Yadira Caraveo and Chaz Tedesco are probably too far to the left to win it, she said.

The 7th district has garnered much more attention over the last several weeks since U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter announced his retirement.

State Sen. Brittany Pettersen is locking up some early endorsements, but Democrat strategist Sheila MacDonald thinks Pettersen could see a credible primary challenge.

Pettersen’s candidacy presents an interesting conundrum for establishment Democrats. On one hand, Pettersen clearly has the inside track when it comes to fundraising and building a war chest sufficient to compete in what could be a hard fought General Election.

Pettersen’s legislative record however, particularly on issues like crime, could come back to haunt her if public safety continues to be a top issue for voters in 2022.

The Jefferson County state senator’s support for public heroin injection sites in particular is likely to give establishment Democrats more than a little heartburn, potentially opening the door for another candidate in the primary.

MacDonald also predicts Secretary of State Jena Griswold will have a tough race on her hands. Griswold is an unabashed partisan, and opposition from Republican Jefferson County’s Pam Anderson would set up an interesting contrast.

The biggest elephant in the room hovering over 2022 is one Joseph Biden, whose national approval rating has sunk to 33%.

A party’s vote share in the midterm cycle is usually tied to the incumbent president’s approval.

If that remains the case in Colorado, then Democrats could be in for one of their toughest cycles in decades.