DENVER (CBS4) – The political races are close in Colorado and candidates were out Monday trying to drum up last-minute votes.
It’s all about “get out the vote” and Republicans were winning on that front the night before Election Day. Historically they vote earlier and heavier in midterm elections, but this year the GOP has a 120,000 vote lead and is ahead in all but one of the swing counties.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall rallied two key voting blocks in the final hours — Hispanics and young people — both of whom tend to sit out midterm elections. This year disapproval of the president — especially on immigration reform – is making it worse.
“I will join Sen. (Michael) Bennet the day after the election to push the president to sign an executive order to keep families together,” Udall said at a rally.
Republican challenger Cory Gardner fired up volunteers in swing counties like Arapahoe that will decide a race that could help decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.
“We have always said that Colorado will be tip of spear, the fulcrum of power, the opportunity to change this direction around,” Gardner said.
Colorado’s gubernatorial race also a dead heat. Republican challenger Bob Beauprez spent election eve on the Western Slope where the economic recovery has been slow.
“It’s absolutely tragic that five years into supposed recovery, here’s Grand Junction with negative economic growth, people still leaving the workforce, moving out of the county to find jobs,” Beauprez said.
Incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper hit Democratic strongholds in the Denver metro area. Since Republicans lead in turnout, he needs to turn it around.
“I hope and I believe that people are going to vote,” Hickenlooper said. “I think we’re going to see more turnout. Everyone is saying, ‘Well, the turnout is not going to be that great.’ I think it’s going to be a great turnout — you watch.”
So far voter turnout is up over the last midterm election. Turnout was at 33 percent at this point in 2010. As of noon on Monday it was 38 percent.
This is the first midterm where everyone received a mail ballot, which may be driving higher turnout.
Even though Republicans are leading, Democrats tend to hang on to their ballots later, so it could be closer on Election Day.
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