Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Politics

Senator Bennet's Vulnerable Senate Seat

Update at 2:11 p.m. ET: Senator Michael Bennet and his campaign just gathered for their "victory speech" outside the Nature and Science Museum in Denver with a view of mountains in the background. Bennet referenced the pundits and prognosticators, who have spent "a lot of time dissecting this election... dividing up red and blue, winners and losers", going state by state "arguing who deserves blame". And Bennet said, "when they get to Colorado, they're not going to know what happened. They're gonna scratch their heads and wonder what the heck is going on out here." He wrapped up by saying he's "not going back to Washington to play more politics" and this is "definitely a race for the record books. It's not my victory, it is yours and I'll never forget that."

The Associated Press has not called this race yet. Bennet's opponent, Republican Ken Buck, has not conceded (see below for campaign quote).

 #

Update at 1:05 P.M. ET: Bennet campaign just sent out an advisory of a "victory speech" planned for 2 p.m. ET in Denver

#

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET, Nov. 3: The Boulder County Elections Division reports it completed tallying the preliminary results at Noon ET. According to a news release, letters are being mailed to mail-in ballot voters who need to cure their signatures or provide a photocopy of their ID in order for their votes to be counted. Boulder County has begun verifying approximately 2,472 (preliminary number) provisional ballots. A provisional ballot is counted once it is confirmed that it was cast by an eligible elector. All valid provisional ballots must be counted by Nov. 16. Election results must now undergo a preliminary audit process and final certification prior to the results becoming official. Unofficial votes for Boulder County: 121,519 ballots cast, 74 % turnout, with 67.07% going to Bennet and 28.52% to Buck.

Also, the Colorado Democratic Party (CDP) has just put out a news release mentioning votes still need to be counted in several counties. Chair Pat Waak's statement reads in part, "In Congressional District 3, Pueblo county votes are still being tabulated. We will work together with the Secretary of State's office to ensure Colorado voters will be heard and that every vote is counted...".Right now in Colorado, according to the AP, with 89 percent of precincts reporting, Bennet stands at 792,216 or 48 percent and Buck has 777,120 or 47 percent -- a difference of 15,096 votes.

Owen Loftus of the Buck campaign released this statement a short while ago: "We are still looking where returns need to be reported, as well as provisional ballots before making any decisions. "We will have further comment later today."

#

Update as of 3:52 a.m. ET: Trevor Kincaid read a statement for the Bennet campaign after he was given a 2 minute warning by the event producer that the stage and risers were about to be torn down. "Today is a good day for the people of Colorado, with the ballots that remain, we are confident that when all the votes are counted, Michael Bennet will remain the senator from Colorado. Our work has just begun and Michael looks forward to work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to make sure that we have the country that lives up to its promise that we leave more opportunity, not less to our kids and grandkids. Thank you." Off-cam, Kincaid said they're waiting on these votes, still out: Denver 15,000, Boulder 32,000 and El Paso 5,000 (numbers are approximate).

#

Update at 2:08 a.m. ET: The room has really cleared out. Fox News just asked Trevor Kincaid, Campaign Communications Director for the Bennet campaign, if he's sticking around and he said "for a little bit" and then he went back to working the phones. Senator Bennet is not expected to come down tonight, but the campaign may issue a statement later.

#

Update at 1:25 a.m. ET: Bennet campaign is telling members of the media here that AP had a clerical error in its model, giving extra votes to Buck in Boulder County. Latest numbers show Buck leading Bennet by less than one percentage point -- about 5,700 votes. If this comes down to less than a half a percent difference, there will be a state recount.

#

Update at 12:48 a.m. ET: Buck has pulled ahead of the Bennet, 49 to 46 percent, with 49 percent of the vote in.

#

Update at 12:18 a.m. ET: Bennet's race has tightened, he leads 48 percent to Ken Buck at 47 percent, with 44 percent of the vote in.

Update at 11:34 p.m. ET: Winner for the gubernatorial race, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has taken the stage, "You have made history tonight by showing you can win with the message of what you want to do, not who you're against" and he touted the fact his campaign ran not one single negative ad.

#

Update at 11:16 p.m. ET: CDP Chair Pat Waak just introduced outgoing Gov. Bill Ritter. He said in a hoarse voice, it's "been a difficult two years... voters are feeling frustration... some angry sentiments". On the race for the U.S. Senate seat, Ritter said "We'll see how Senator Michael Bennet's race comes out as well. No one could have worked harder... day in day out.. nobody could have done a better job... fantastic campaigner." Ritter conceded Congress will probably become Republican but reminded the crowd to "not lose our resolve as Democrats". Ritter was followed by Senator Mark Udall. Hickenlooper, the victor in the governor's race is expected soon. A cheer went up in the room earlier as Tom Tancredo's concession speech was shown on one of the big screens.

#

Update at 10:33 p.m. ET: CDP Chair Pat Waak just returned to the stage, "The number one target of the Republicans in this race was the governor and the news has called race for Hiclenlooper. John will be here shortly."

#

Update at 10:22 p.m. ET: FNC and AP have called the gubernatorial race for Hickenlooper.

#

Update at 9:53 p.m. ET: CDP Chair Pat Waak just walked out to "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. She welcomed and thanked the crowd. "Let's have fun, let's watch those returns and let's hope they stay right where they are now", a reference to Bennet and Hickenlooper leading their races, but just 7 percent of the votes are in. The turnout as of 9:30 p.m. ET, according to the Secretary of State's office: 534,976 for Republicans, 456,334 for Democrats and 326,060 for Unaffiliated and a grand total of 1,325,583.

#

Update at 9:00 ET: Polls are closed in Colorado, but anyone in line before the close can still squeeze in their vote. The lights have dimmed in the room for the watch party here.

#

Update at 8:03 p.m. ET: Senator Bennet is making the rounds, doing live interviews with local media. He just told one reporter that thousands are knocking on doors right now to get out the vote with one hour left. His team has given "everything we could" to this campaign, he has "no regrets" and this race is "going to go down in the record books".

#

Fox News is hunkered down in downtown Denver at the watch party hosted by the Colorado Democratic Party (CDP).The nail biter of the night here is the too close to call, toss-up race for the U.S. Senate seat, between Democratic incumbent Senator Michael Bennet and his challenger, tea party favorite, Republican Ken Buck. Senator Bennet is seeking his first full term after being appointed to fill the vacancy created by Ken Salazar who moved on to be Interior Secretary.Also of interest, whether Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper succeeds Governor Bill Ritter who is not seeking re-election. The gubernatorial race has gotten national attention for being a three way race with the late entry of former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo who jumped on the American Constitution Party ticket. Tancredo, who has been working to peel off conservative votes from Republican Dan Maes, has steadily edged up the polls to potentially come within striking distance of Hickenlooper, depending which poll you consult.Candidates, voters and volunteers will monitor results here after polls close at 7 p.m. (9 p.m. ET). Voting in Colorado has been underway since mid-October with early and mail-in balloting. As of Noon (local) today, Republicans were leading turnout throughout the state at 493,399. Democrats had cast 419,444 votes and only 291,152 Unaffiliated had turned out. Campaigns are watching to see if the Unaffiliated catch up to the GOP and Dems -- independents can make or break elections here since they comprise about a third of the electorate. A few days ago, we interviewed Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher who said he expected record participation for a mid-term election; 1.6 million votes could be cast.