It’s election day in Colorado. We’ve got plenty going on, from the high-profile Republican U.S. Senate primary contest to Denver District Attorney and U.S. Representative primaries in the area.
We’ll follow the action here.
Closing thoughts: That was over really fast. Darryl Glenn will take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November, and Democrats appear just as jubilant as Glenn’s supporters. Within a few minutes of the race being called, I had emails from the Colorado Democratic Party and Sen. Bennet’s campaign calling Glenn too extreme for Colorado. Political analysts I talk to all said any Republican would have a big uphill battle this year, and having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket won’t help. They think one of the most watched Senate seats in the country is safely in Democratic hands. (EM)
7:43 p.m.: Michael Carrigan has conceded the Denver DA race to Beth McCann.
7:40 p.m.: Jon Keyser, once the establishment favorite, congratulates Darryl Glenn.
7:35 p.m.: Darryl Glenn has declared victory. The Associated Press is also calling the race for him.
7:31: The polls have been closed for a half hour, and some people are already packing it in. Pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli is calling the Senate race for Darryl Glenn on 9 News, and ProgressNow Colorado has sent out a triumphant email bashing the choice of “Gridlock” Glenn as evidence Colorado conservatives “aren’t ready for prime time.”
7:20: Video of Darryl Glenn discussing #NeverTrump. He supports Trump. But there is a process. But the party should get behind the nominee.
What people need to understand is there’s a small select group of people that are actually going to pick that particular nominee. Look, Donald Trump went through the process. He earned the vote and I am not in support of overturning the will of the voters that’s why I am clearly stating that we need to support Donald Trump because he’s the presumptive nominee. What you can’t control is what happens in Cleveland if that group decides to do something different. And I hope they don’t.
7:12 p.m.: Darryl Glenn is pulling ahead of the crowded Republican field. The Colorado Secretary of State shows him with 39.7 percent of 140,976 ballots counted so far. In second place is Jack Graham, with 22.7 percent.
7:00 p.m.: Darryl Glenn has the early lead in the Republican Senate race with 31.3 percent. Beth McCann is ahead in the Denver DA race.
6:55 p.m.: With minutes left before the polls close, Darryl Glenn is talking to supporters at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. In the “anyone’s guess” race, his status as THE candidate of movement conservatives has made him the person to watch.
6:35 p.m.: This just in: It’s raining along the Front Range.
— COindependent (@COindependent) June 29, 2016
6:20 p.m.: Ballots can be dropped off until 7 p.m.
UPDATE: Ballot update as of 5:45 p.m.: GOP ballots returned, 332,442, Dems, 265,381. D 26.6%; R, 33.3%. #copolitics
— Lynn Bartels (@lynn_bartels) June 29, 2016
1:30 p.m.: Corey Hutchins at the Colorado Independent has the audio of Sarah Palin’s “protect our guns” robocall on behalf of Darryl Glenn.
1 p.m.: Local political observers have called the Republican primary a “crapshoot” and “anyone’s guess,” but the National Review’s Alexis Levinson has an article out today that predicts El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn will break out.
The lack of any one defined candidate, little interest from outside groups, and the fact that only one candidate has been spending significantly on television advertising in the final weeks meant that an outside group willing to put some money in could have a big impact.
The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) did just that, putting its money into what is perhaps the last, best shot for movement conservatives to notch a primary win in a year in which Donald Trump has dashed their hopes over and over again.
Glenn has moved his campaign party to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs in what sure looks like optimism, even as Jon Keyser, once the establishment candidate to beat, announced he’ll be at home with his family.
Ballot update: As of Tuesday morning, Republican voters had returned 27.8 percent of their ballots, while Democrats had returned 23.4 percent of their ballots. This numbers are statewide and come from the Colorado Secretary of State.
Total turnout in the 2014 primary was 21.84 percent, and a fifth of the ballots were turned in on Election Day. So a lot of ballots could still be out there.
In 2012, primary turnout was 23.76 percent. In 2010, primary turnout was 36.7 percent. That year saw high-profile races among both Democrats and Republicans.
Earlier: The Republican primary for U.S. Senate wrapped up with a pair of mystery mailers bashing each of the five candidates for everything from being too conservative to being too recently a Democrat. (Ideological coherence was not the point. The National Review posted one of the mailers.
The Denver Post has the other one. John Frank figured out that the Keep Colorado Great Project, the identified entity behind the mailers, is the work of ProgressNow Colorado, one of the leading liberal organizations active in state politics. Here’s what Ian Silverii, ProgressNow’s executive director, told the Post:
“We just think that voters deserve more information than they’ve been given about the candidates so that the election result isn’t the equivalent of rolling five-sided dice. After all, we’ve seen what happens — abroad and in this country — when voters ask after an election, ‘Who knew?’”