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Colorado's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

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Colorado's 3rd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 26, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Scott Tipton Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Scott Tipton Republican Party
Scott Tipton.JPG

Colorado U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Colorado.png
The 3rd Congressional District of Colorado held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Scott Tipton won the election.[1]
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
April 2, 2012
June 26, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Colorado has a closed primary system, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by March 5. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 9.[2]

See also: Colorado elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Scott Tipton (R), who was first elected in 2010.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. The 3rd District is located in western and southern Colorado and includes Pueblo, Custer, Costilla, Rio Grande, Conejos, Archulets, Mineral, Saguache, Alamosa, Huerfrano, La Plata, Montezuma, Delores, San Miguel, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan, Hinsdale, Gunalson, Delta, Mesa, Pitkin, Lake, Eagle, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Routt, Jackson and Moffard counties.[3]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Sal Pace
Republican Party Scott TiptonGreen check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Gregory Gilman
Independent Tisha Casida
Independent Morgan West
Independent Jaime McMillan

June 26, 2012 primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Libertarian Party Libertarian Primary

Independent Independent candidates

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, Colorado District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Sal Pace 41.1% 142,619
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngScott Tipton Incumbent 53.4% 185,291
     Libertarian Gregory Gilman 2.4% 8,212
     Independent Tisha Casida 3.2% 11,125
Total Votes 347,247
Source: Colorado Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Libertarian Primary

Colorado's 3rd Congressional District Libertarian Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngGregory Gilman 60.6% 166
Gaylon Kent 39.4% 108
Total Votes 274

Race background

Colorado's 3rd was considered to be Leaning Republican according to the New York Times race ratings. Incumbent Scott Tipton's district was redrawn to be slightly more competitive. He was unsuccessfully challenged by state representative Sal Pace. Both parties saw the seat as crucial to control the House.[9]

Colorado's 3rd District was included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[10]

Incumbent Scott Tipton was a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, a program to help House Republicans stay on offense and increase their majority in 2012.[11]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Colorado

The 3rd District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[12][13]

Registration statistics

As of October 22, 2012, District 3 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the Colorado Secretary of State:

Colorado Congressional District 3[14]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 3 319,189 99,751 127,119 92,319 Republican 27.44% 12.18%
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Colorado's 3rd District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[15]

  • 2012: 46D / 54R
  • 2010: 45D / 55R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Colorado's 3rd Congressional District has a PVI of R+4, which is the 194th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 51-49 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 56-45 percent over John Kerry (D).[16]

Campaign contributions

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are candidate reports.

Sal Pace

Sal Pace (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[17]April 15, 2012$341,430.06$291,975.19$(112,046.81)$521,358.44
Pre-Primary[18]June 14, 2012$521,358.44$216,561.43$(123,486.14)$614,433.73
Running totals

Scott Tipton

Scott Tipton (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 15, 2012$502,402.63$378,927.83$(68,055.85)$813,274.61
Pre-Primary[20]June 14, 2012$813,645.98$221,804$(107,234.89)$928,215.09
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


This is the 3rd Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.

On November 2, 2010, Scott Tipton won election to the United States House. He defeated John T. Salazar, Gregory Gilman and Jake Segrest in the general election.[21]

U.S. House, Colorado District 3 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngScott Tipton 50.1% 129,257
     Democratic John T. Salazar Incumbent 45.8% 118,048
     Libertarian Gregory Gilman 2.2% 5,678
     Unaffiliated Jake Segrest 1.9% 4,982
Total Votes 257,965

See also

External links


  1. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. Colorado Secretary of State, "Go Vote Colorado," accessed July 21, 2012
  3. Colorado November 2011 Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed July 23, 2012
  4. "Colorado Rep. Pace to challenge Tipton in 3rd District,", May 31, 2011
  5. Steamboat Today "Congressman Scott Tipton to visit Yampa Valley on Saturday," accessed March 10, 2012
  6. "Pace running for 3rd Congressional District,", June 1, 2011
  7. Email submission to Ballotpedia, May 28, 2012
  8. Colorado Secretary of State Candidate List (accessed September 5, 2012)
  9. New York Times, "House Race Ratings," accessed August 7, 2012
  10. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  11. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  12. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Colorado's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  13. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  14. Colorado Secretary of State, "2012 Voter Registration Statistics," February 1, 2012
  15. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Colorado," September 2012
  16. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Sal Pace April Quarterly," accessed July 9, 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission, "Sal Pace Pre-Primary," accessed July 9, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Tipton April Quarterly," accessed July 9, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Scott Tipton Pre-Primary," accessed July 9, 2012
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013