3 Years Changes Things: Active Voter Registration 2010 to 2013

Voter turn out is one of the key tactical elements in any election.  Campaign teams and party organizations will work hard to get out the vote at election time.  This post does not address the question of which party has the better GOTV organization or whose team will be more motivated.  Instead take a look at the changing complexion of active voters from election day in 2010 to today.

The strategic component is for Republican caucus goers and primary voters to consider how changes in the electorate should influence their candidate selection.  It his a mistake to assume that the voting public looks like it did in 2010.  Republican candidates should be pressed to explain how they will win the votes of urban independent voters to secure Republican victory.


Among active voters 32.9% are registered Republican, as opposed the 35% in 2010.  While the percentage of Unaffiliated voters has increased from 31% to 34.3%.*

2010 32.8% 35.3% 31.1%
2013 31.6% 32.9% 34.3%
Change -1.2% -2.4% 3.2%
  • The number of registered voters has increased by more than 333,000.  Unaffiliated voters make up 193,000 (58%) of these.  Republican registrations make up about 50,000 new voters or about 15%.
  • These Independents are concentrated in Denver area, with fully half of them coming from Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Denver counties.
  • Since 2010 Unaffiliated voters have surpassed the number of Republicans in Arapahoe, Jefferson, Larimer and Pueblo counties and are on track to overtake the 50,000 Republicans in Weld County.
  • Even in El Paso County, Republican registration is up only 3%. While Unaffiliated soared by 22%!  At current rates, El Paso will look like Larimer before the decade is out.


Denver county, has added 58,000 active voters, a 21% increase, in the past 3 years.  While Adams has added 32,000 for 19% Growth.  Douglas and El Paso have grown at 13% and 10% respectively. While the more rural counties have grown only at 9%.

The net Result is a 2.2% swing of the vote total away from the Rural parts of the state and El Paso County and INTO DENVER AND ADAMS counties.

Change in
2010 2013 Concentration
Adams      169,601      201,825 0.3%
Arap      273,262      313,465 0.1%
Boulder      162,965      180,363 -0.2%
Denver      273,816      332,248 0.8%
Douglas      159,319      179,777 0.0%
El Paso      290,106      318,815 -0.4%
Jefferson      299,174      337,804 -0.1%
Larimer      167,619      191,020 0.0%
Mesa        72,296        78,623 -0.1%
Pueblo        75,280        87,947 0.1%
Weld      113,132      132,115 0.1%
All Others      420,632      456,437 -0.7%
All 2,477,202 2,810,439

The Challenge for Republicans statewide is to recognize these changes.  Can the Republican party (where 20% of GOP voters live in small counties, and 15% in El Paso County) nominate candidate who will not leave a negative impression with these new urban independents?

Will we find the wisdom to pick candidates who express our principles in a way that is inclusive and optimistic?  Liberty is Popular.  “Live and let live.”  Can we make that the honest motto of the Republican Party?

* Source: http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/VoterRegNumbers/VoterRegNumbers.html

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