2016 Election Recap
What the 2016 election results mean for Colorado REALTORS®.
“Pundits Befuddled!” is how news headlines could have described the 2016 elections. Pundits, and the world, were stunned by Donald Trump’s inconceivable victory. Perhaps even more unexpected than the Presidential race, was the fact that Republicans retained their U.S. Senate majority. As of Friday, November 10th, a few Colorado counties were still counting ballots, but unlike in 2014, further tabulations are not expected to change the outcome of any races. Below is a re-cap of what the races mean for the state legislature, Congress, and of course for REALTORS®.
NAR is reporting that over 90 percent of races that RPAC was involved in won Tuesday night! In Colorado we did equally well; our success rate was 91%! Thank you to the 19 members of our CARPAC for your time and dedication to the electoral process; your tireless work has served our members very well. Thank you also to each of the local boards and associations and their members and staff for your assistance throughout the process!
Democrats will retain control of the Colorado House of Representatives by a 38 to 27 margin, with Democrats picking up three seats. Most political minds agreed there were six competitive races this cycle. Whereas both parties evenly split the eight competitive races in 2014, the Democrats swept each of these six competitive seats in 2016.
The Republican House Caucus elected Rep. Patrick Neville of Castle Rock as House Minority Leader. The Democratic House Caucus elected Rep. Crisanta Duran of Denver as Speaker-designee – the full House will officially vote for the position in January – and Rep. KC Becker of Boulder as Majority Leader. Speaker-designee Duran will become the first Latina in Colorado history to hold the position.
The State Senate has staggered terms, so roughly half of the seats were up for election this cycle. Here, four races were considered competitive. The Republicans needed to win two of the four seats to retain control. The Democrats needed to win three of the four seats to take control of the chamber. As we approached the election, control of the Senate came down to one seat – Senate District 25 between Rep. Kevin Priola and former Rep. Jenise May. Rep. Priola prevailed, maintaining the 18-17 Republican majority for the next two years.
The Republican Senate Caucus elected Sen. Kevin Grantham of Cañon City as Senate President-designee and Sen. Chris Holbert of Parker as Majority Leader. The Democratic Senate Caucus re-elected Sen. Lucia Guzman of Denver as Minority Leader.
There were no changes in Colorado’s congressional delegation. Each U.S. House member and Senator Bennet won re-election. All were REALTOR® endorsed, but Rep. Jared Polis does not accept PAC funds. Colorado’s congressional delegation will continue to include five Republicans and four Democrats.
Amendment 69 loses big — (79% to 21%)
CAR was involved in the campaign to defeat this risky, uncertain, and unaffordable amendment that put a hefty burden on REALTORS® because it unfairly asked business owners/LLC’s like you to pay not once, but twice into the system. It proposed a 6.67% payroll tax on employers plus a 3.33% payroll on employees totaling a 10% tax increase. Additionally, there would have been a 10% tax on every commission you earn, rental income property, and investment property profits. It also would have required business owners like you to pay 10% on all profits, even if those dollars were not withdrawn from the business as personal income.
Amendment 71 Raise the Bar passes — (51% to 43%)
CAR supported this measure because Colorado has one of the easiest processes to amend our constitution in the country. Consequently, the Colorado constitution has been amended 152 times since statehood in 1876 whereas the amendments to our U.S. constitution total 27. While the right of citizens to propose changes through the ballot can be an important check on government, the current system too often instead serves special interest groups, often backed by wealthy supporters who have an axe to grind. Raise the Bar ensures constitutional changes are more reflective of the entire state.
Propositions 107 Presidential Primary (64% to 36%) and 108 Primary Elections (52% to 47%) Both Pass
CAR supported 107 because it makes Colorado a necessary stop on the campaign trail for national candidates, bringing issues important to Colorado to the forefront. Currently primary winners tend to appeal to the extremes of each party. By including Independents and Unaffiliated voters, candidates are forced to appeal to the broader, and hopefully, more moderate Colorado electorate. Opening these primaries to unaffiliated voters introduces voters and candidates into our primary elections who are less interested in scoring political points and more interested in lawmakers finding common sense bipartisan solutions to the problems facing Coloradans. We know Colorado is a leader in so many areas, from our robust economy to general election turnout and ease of voting. We should not be left behind when it comes to including all of our citizens in the primary process.
CAR played in 70 out of a possible 83 state races. Of the 70 races, CAR-endorsed candidates won in 64 contests for an overall winning percentage of 91%. Or, to view it through the prism of baseball, CAR boasted a .914 batting average – an all-star performance!
The next General Assembly will see 20 new state legislators between the House and Senate. Of those 20, CAR endorsed 14 of them, abstained in three of their races, and supported their opponents in three contests.
NAR’s REALTOR® Political Action Committee endorsed candidates in each of Colorado’s U.S. Congressional contests based on recommendations from CARPAC. Of the eight races, NAR-endorsed candidates won in each.
CAR was involved in four ballot measures this cycle and participated on the prevailing side on each one.
On balance, this was a substantially successful electoral cycle for CAR. We are pleased again to see shared control of the state legislative branch. In the past, this has required both parties to cooperatively govern, and that has served real estate, and the State, well.
Thank you to the 8,330 CAR members that invested in RPAC so far this year! Your support provides a critical means to educating candidates and supporting issues that not only share our vision for the future of real estate, but will also keep it a high priority.
With Mr. Trump assuming the Presidency in January and Republicans retaining control of the U.S. House and Senate, click here for more information about what this may mean for REALTORS® and homeowners.