Colorado Senate race: Democrats flip first Republican seat as they try to seize control of upper chamber

Democratic challenger John Hickenlooper is projected to beat Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Wednesday 04 November 2020 04:09 GMT
2020 election results
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Democratic challenger John Hickenlooper is projected to beat Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, bringing Democrats one step closer to taking control of the US Senate.

Polling showed Mr Hickenlooper leading the incumbent by 54.2 per cent to 43.8 per cent, according to the New York Times, and the Associated Press has projected a win for the Democratic challenger.

Mr Hickenlooper joined the Senate race after he dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race.

The Denver Democrat and former two-term governor targeted Mr Gardner in his campaign race for the senator’s close ties to President Donald Trump and position on healthcare.

Although Mr Hickenlooper’s senate win was big for the Democrats, it was not a surprise. He polled higher than Mr Gardner for a vast majority of the Senate race.

The loss for Mr Gardner comes after he narrowly won the Senate seat in 2014 against then-Democratic Senator Mark Udall by two points, turning the seat from red to blue. At the time, Mr Gardner ran on an anti-Obama platform.

But the political landscape of Colorado has changed in recent years, altering the state to a lean-Democrat pick-up in the presidential race. Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016 over President Donald Trump.

Mr Gardner’s ties to the sitting president did not help him in the Senate race, and the Associated Press has projected Colorado will be a pick up for former Vice President Joe Biden over Mr Trump.

This was the first win for Democrats on Election Day on their path to flip the Senate blue. The Democrats need to pick up four Senate seats, or three if Joe Biden wins the presidency, in order to take a majority in the Senate. 

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