Going into the evening it seems that Mike Coffman (R) has prevailed against Joe Miklosi (D) with election officials releasing 63% of the vote. Coffman leads by 6% points, but this is without taking into account any of the returns from the portions of the district that lie within Denver County.
The district is a traditional GOP stronghold, formerly belonging to Tom Tancredo, but because of redistricting, it’s now almost evenly split between Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. The DNC and RNC have picked up on the new alignment and have poured millions of dollars into this race.
The effects of redistricting dramatically changed the Coffman Miklosi Race. In John McCain took the district with a 6 % margin over Barack Obama contravening the state’s preference for Obama by a 9 point margin. Voters brought into the new Sixth District by the Reapportionment Committee favored Obama by more than 8%. Additionally, a third of the electorate in the new 6th comes from the former 7th, which favored Obama by 19 points in 2008.
In an interview with the Colorado Independent, Committee-member Bob Loevy predicted that “Instead of appealing to a small group of activist Republican primary voters, Coffman now has to appeal to a large number of more moderate Republican general election voters and to the large number of unaffiliated voters who now hold the balance of power in that district.”
The campaign focused heavily on the Aurora theatre shooting in July 2012 which took the life of 12 people and reshaped the race. Following the shooting incident, Miklosi said that he would work to reinstate the Clinton-era federal automatic assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. Coffman is against renewing the assault weapons ban.
Coffman preferred to focus on his efforts on local business stating that he would assist in obtaining grants for the Anschutz Medical Campus. He has also stated that he would work to reform export taxes to help local business. Coffman’s largest challenge perhaps came in the form of having to rebrand himself as someone who once remarked that the President was “just not American enough.” The birther-esque remark would play well with his former constituents, but the re-drawn district, a fifth of who are Latino, chaffed at the remark.