The race for president may not be settled for days (or longer), but Colorado’s outcome is not in question. Former Vice President Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump in the Centennial State according to early ballot returns. The race was officially called by the Associated Press less than an hour after polls closed with Biden earning 56 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 41 percent. 

In recent days, polling suggested Biden was heavily favored to earn Colorado’s nine electoral college votes as statewide Republican victories in the state have become rare. In March, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is to the left of Biden, overwhelmingly won Colorado’s Democratic primary, and a Republican presidential candidate has not carried Colorado in the general election since George W. Bush in 2004. 

Nationwide, the presidential race will not be decided Tuesday night, as key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan continue to count mail-in ballots. Some of those states have announced they will need at least until Friday to determine the outcome of the presidential race, and many population centers have not reported a significant amount of their vote.  

Many of the states still in play in this election were decisive four years ago when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by picking up key victories throughout the Midwest. Though Biden was favored in most major polls entering Election Day, he did not deliver the type of landslide victory that would have brought clarity to the electoral map on Tuesday. If he ultimately wins the White House, it will be decided gradually in the days to come.

Whoever wins the presidential election will also be joined in Washington, D.C. in January by at least one new Democratic Senator—former Gov. John Hickenlooper, who defeated incumbent Republican Cory Gardner in Colorado’s race for U.S. Senate. It’s still unclear if Democrats will pick up more Senate seats, but competitive races are ongoing in states like Arizona, Montana, and Maine.  

Jay Bouchard
Jay Bouchard
Jay Bouchard is a Denver-based writer and a former editor on 5280's digital team.