Sabato's Crystal Ball

Colorado (03) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R

Democratic candidate: John Salazar, incumbent

Republican candidate: Scott Tipton, state Delegate

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: October 14, 2010

This race demonstrates a trend we are seeing across the country as a rematch of a recent race may now go the GOP’s way given the different dynamics of this year. In 2006, Democrat John Salazar easily defeated Republican Scott Tipton, winning 61% of the vote. Now Tipton has the backing of the Tea Party—which did not even exist during his round one defeat—and an endorsement from Sarah Palin—who was still campaigning for the Alaska governorship at the time. In this very different landscape, Salazar is unlikely to repeat his large margin of victory and may end up with no victory at all. CO (03) moves from Leans Democratic to Toss-up.

Update: August 3, 2010

Scott Tipton won the GOP primary and will now face John Salazar in the fall. Tipton has been endorsed by his primary opponent, Bob McConnell. Salazar still has the upper hand in this race, but Tipton hopes to gain some ground by focusing on fundraising and Salazar’s legislative record. This race Leans Democratic.

Background:

Democratic incumbent John Salazar is running for his fourth term representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Currently, he has two Republican challengers, attorney Bob McConnell and state Representative Scott Tipton, who are facing each other in the August 10th primary to become their party’s nominee. The third district is politically unpredictable, and incorporates areas that are conservative and liberal.

Salazar has several advantages over his opponents including that he has a sizable financial edge, he has his party’s support, and he also has plenty of time to make his case to voters while Republicans fight amongst themselves. Although Salazar faces a difficult election as an incumbent, this race still Leans Democratic.