Illustration of people voting and campaigning

With about a month until Election Day, The Colorado Sun wants you to know what’s been guiding our coverage of Election 2022 so far and how we’ll report on the home stretch leading to Nov. 8.

The idea is to be as transparent as possible so Coloradans can understand how and why we cover certain stories. We also want your feedback and help as we fan out across the state to bring you election coverage in these final weeks.

Which races we’ll cover

The Colorado Sun is a small newsroom, so we think hard about how to best use our limited resources. Thus, The Sun is focusing its election coverage this year mainly on races that remain competitive.

To determine whether a contest is competitive, we take into consideration a number of factors, including voter registration data, past election results, candidate and political group fundraising and spending, polling and national ratings. We also take into consideration the signficant of the outcome of a race.

For instance, we’re covering the race in Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District closely because it’s considered one of the most competitive U.S. House districts in the nation this year. The outcome of the race could determine which party controls the House. 

The district was drawn as part of last year’s once-in-a-decade redistricting process. It’s in a part of the state that experienced the most population growth in Colorado between 2010 and 2020. Nearly 39% of the 8th District’s residents are Hispanic, and there are both strong Republican and strong Democratic corners of the district, which stretches from the northeast Denver suburbs past Greeley. 

The race between Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and his Republican challenger, Joe O’Dea, is another contest we’re covering closely because of its national implications and interest. While Bennet’s lead in the polls has solidified in recent weeks, the race doesn’t appear totally out of reach for O’Dea. 

On the state level, we’re focusing our resources on coverage of the governor’s race as well as the battle for control of the state Senate

There are races in all of Colorado’s congressional districts this year, but you won’t see us covering the contests in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th districts very much in the next few weeks because the incumbents appear destined to win reelection. 

There’s a lot of interest in the 3rd Congressional District race between Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Silt Republican, and her Democratic challenger, former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch, but there has been little indication the contest is competitive. The 3rd District leans heavily in Republicans’ favor, and national Democratic groups have not made beating Boebert a 2022 priority. 

The competitiveness outlook can, of course, change, and The Sun will adapt accordingly. 

How we’ll cover the most important contests

Our coverage has and will continue to focus on policy more than politics. 

In key races, we’ll provide you in the coming weeks with comparisons on where candidates stand on the big issues, like abortion, immigration, crime and rising consumer costs. 

We’ll also provide you with easy-to-understand explainers on the 11 statewide ballot initiatives. In our coverage you’ll find information about the groups and people behind the measures and what their motivations are. 

We’re also taking broad looks at significant trends in the 2022 election cycle, as well as the records of office holders. And we’re cosponsoring debates in several contests that will be livestreamed on our website.

What you won’t find at The Sun is out-of-context coverage of political stunts or canned attack quotes from candidates’ spokespeople. We aim for substance, and we try to prioritize voter voices. 

Why we cover money in politics

One thing you’ll find a lot of in The Sun is coverage of money in politics.

Candidates with the most money behind them don’t always win, but cash does play a significant role in elections. Candidates get their messages out by spending money. So The Sun is keeping a close eye on how much they raise, how they spend it and how much they have in the bank.

Groups like super PACs, which aren’t subject to donor limits, often spend a lot more money than candidates. We’re monitoring those groups, too, as well as political nonprofits that don’t have to disclose their donors — organizations we refer to as dark-money groups.

The Sun also closely analyzes political TV contracts from the Federal Communications Commission.

Following the money gives us an idea of who is behind political messages you’re seeing.

How you can help shape of coverage

We want to hear from you. Our aim is to be transparent with our coverage plans, but we also want you to know they are subject to change. And we want you to be a part of that change.

If you think there is a race we should be paying closer attention to or an issue that needs exploring, let political editor Jesse Paul know by emailing him at jesse@coloradosun.com or filling out the form below.

We’ll answer your questions about voting

Wondering if you’re registered to vote? When will your ballot arrive? How to vote in person?

The Colorado Sun has got you covered.

Check out our explainer on voting in the Nov. 8 election and let us know what questions you have by filling out the form below. We’ll be responding by email and in weekly updates to our explainer through Election Day

Then there’s The Unaffiliated

The Unaffiliated is our twice-weekly newsletter on Colorado politics and policy.

Each edition is filled with exclusive news, analysis and other behind-the-scenes information you won’t find anywhere else. Subscribe today to see what all the buzz is about.

If you’re looking for even more political coverage, you should sign up for The Unaffiliated, our twice-weekly newsletter pulling back the curtain on Colorado politics and policy. There you will find more quick-hit stories on polls, what candidates are saying on the campaign trail and plenty more information on what’s going behind the scenes.

You must be a premium Colorado Sun subscriber to get the newsletter. Sign up here.

How we’ll cover election results

When Election Day finally arrives, you can expect The Sun to be working nonstop to bring you coverage of what’s happening on the ground. Our reporters, editors and photographers will visit polling places across the state to talk with voters and find out what motivated their decisions at the ballot box. 

Results start being posted at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8, and we are hoping to bring you live numbers on our website. But we won’t post stories about races until we know whether a contest is going to be called in one candidate’s direction or another — or if a contest will be too close to call on election night. 

Early results are just that. We don’t want to mislead you as to which way a contest is going. 

We recommend you follow our reporters and editors on Twitter, where they will be posting live updates through the day and night.

The Colorado Sun

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