‘Red wall’ in Moffat County not enough to stop ‘blue wave’ crashing across Colorado state offices
November 8, 2018
CRAIG —While Moffat County was among the majority of Colorado counties favoring Republican candidates, the red wall was not enough to prevent a blue wave from delivering Democratic control to nearly all Colorado’s state offices.
The red/blue political divide is no longer clearly split between the Western Slope and the Front Range, or even urban versus rural. Instead, it might be more accurately defined as a difference between the haves and the have-nots. An analysis of voting trends shows that counties voting Democratic are some of the most affluent and populous in the state.
Republican incumbent Secretary of State Wayne Williams lost his re-election bid 46.31 percent to 51.24 percent to Democratic candidate Jena Griswold. In stark contrast, 78.15 percent of Moffat County voters voted to retain Williams, with only 18.6 percent favoring Griswold.
The state treasurer’s position, vacated when Walker Stapleton decided to run for governor, was a contest between Republican Brian Watson and Democrat Dave Young. In Moffat County, Watson received 79.05 percent of the vote compared to 17.41 percent for Young. However, with 50.85 percent of the total votes across Colorado, Young defeated Watson, who earned 46.46 percent of the total vote.
The trend continued in the race for Colorado’s Attorney General, a seat vacated when incumbent Cynthia Coffman made an unsuccessful primary bid for governor earlier this year, as Democrat Phil Wieser earned 50.04 percent of the vote compared to the 46.94 percent earned by George Brauchler. In Moffat County, 79.47 percent of voters favored Brauchler, with only 17.27 percent casting their votes for Wieser.
State offices include regents for the University of Colorado system — a nine-person governing board established in an amendment to Colorado’s Constitution.
This year, Moffat County voters helped select one at-large representative and the representative for the 3rd Congressional District.
Democrat Leslie Smith earned 50.48 percent of the vote, edging out Republican candidate Ken Montera, who had received 44.75 percent of the vote. In Moffat County, however, Smith earned only 17.53 percent of the vote, compared with 77.56 percent who voted for Montera.
Bucking the blue trend, Republican candidate for Regent for the University of Colorado for the Third Congressional District Glen Gallegos won his seat with 50.98 percent of the vote, compared to the 43.25 percent received by Democratic challenger Alvin Rivera.
Support for Gallegos was strong in Moffat County, where he received 77.82 percent of the vote, compared to 16.32 percent of votes cast for Rivera.
While Moffat County voters did not cast ballots in the race for regent to represent the 5th Congressional District, it was also won by a Republican — Chance Hill —who received 62.62 percent of the vote, compared to the 37.38 percent earned by Democratic candidate Tony Wolusky.
Hill and Gallegos joined State Board of Education member for the 4th Congressional District Debora Scheffel as the only Republican candidates to win their races for state office.
In a politically divided state, the ripples of the blue wave will have long-lasting impacts across Colorado.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.