As of late Monday, June 3, 95,000 votes had been counted, a little ahead of the May 7 general election returns. But, on Election Day, May 7, more than 80,000 Denver voters delivered ballots – mostly in person – to the Denver Clerk, leading to the long count Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Will Millennial and more independent voters surge again or will the runoff have a lower turnout than the 185,000 record on May 7?
Reporter Mary Winter analyzed registration and precinct data in a June 3 Colorado Independent story. She describes Millennials as a substantial bloc of Denver voters. I contributed to the story’s background on the city election.
They helped boost turnout in Denver’s May 7 municipal election to 39.6%, a fairly high showing by historical standards, according to the Denver Elections Division. Veteran Denver political pollster Floyd Ciruli predicts millennials will show up in big numbers again for Tuesday’s runoff, which will also determine five city council seats and the city clerk and recorder, and whether voters should get to decide if public money should be spent to host future Olympics.
Ciruli won’t venture a guess as to which candidate millennials will favor. “We know they are not party loyal. And that’s what’s exciting, interesting. Millennials could be a deciding factor” in this race, he said.
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Ciruli says there are a few universal concerns in this election. “Polls I have conducted in the past three to four years indicate growth is the No. 1 issue. There’s consistently a cluster around affordable housing, transportation, congestion, homelessness and gentrification and, in the most sensitive communities, the preservation of community,” he said.
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No matter what their age, Denver voters will be delivering a referendum on the city’s management over the past eight years, says pollster Ciruli.
“Hancock and the council recognized they had a development problem,” but they didn’t put the brakes on big development fast enough, Ciruli says. “The public didn’t see enough ‘no’ – nothing dramatic enough. It’s development and growth – the issue is really framed by this election.”
“Millennials changed the environment 100%, and we’ve had a hard time catching up to the growth.”
Winter’s precinct analysis shows Mayor Hancock had considerable strength throughout Denver, winning close to his 39 percent average in most areas, and more in northeast Denver’s historic higher concentration of African American neighborhoods.
Mayor’s Race: Final Week, KOA With Marty and Ed
Denver Votes Trickling In; Hancock Vulnerable by Late Stumble
Runoff Returns Slow as Usual