Tuesday was a topsy-turvy night for both Republicans and Democrats battling it out in one of the country’s most evenly divided states.

Pundits called the midterm elections a nationwide Republican wave, but in Colorado voters clear split their tickets based on the candidates – not just the party.

“It really underscores the independent mindedness of Colorado voters,” said Ryan Call, chair of the Colorado GOP after a long night of victory speeches for his party. In contrast, few Democratic candidates even showed up to their downtown Denver election results watch party.

Republican Cory Gardner won a seat in the U.S. Senate by a shocking 5 percentage points against a Democratic incumbent who looked unbeatable in May.

Republicans also handily won the extremely competitive race for the 6th Congressional District, and they swept Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and Attorney General races.

Hickenlooper appears to be in great position to keep his job as Colorado governor. As of 2:40 a.m., the Democrat has a 10,790-vote lead over challenger Bob Beauprez, thanks to a late push of ballots that were counted from Boulder and Denver counties. Hickenlooper leads with 873,082 votes to Beauprez’s 862,292, the largest margin for Hickenlooper since he took the lead from Beauprez around 1:40 a.m. The percentage of Hickenlooper’s lead is .06 (48.06 to 47.46), putting the governor just beyond the required .50 percent margin that would force a mandated recount.

Ironically, Colorado Springs voters, who are among the most conservative in the state, were poised to spoil Republican’s plans to take over the state Senate.

Voters overwhelmingly ousted Sen. Bernie Herpin, a Republican who had been in office for one year after replacing recalled Sen. John Morse. If the successful recall of Morse in September was a referendum on the five gun laws passed by lawmakers in 2013, then the results Tuesday are bewildering.

Herpin, …read more