Denver Voters Ready to Elect Woman Mayor

  • Sep 28, 2022
  • kristen
  • Emerge Colorado and Colorado Working Families Party



Wednesday September 28, 2022


Denver Voters Ready to Elect Woman Mayor

Women Trusted More to Handle Housing Crisis

Denver, CO (September 28, 2022) – Denver voters are ready to elect a woman for mayor, and they trust women candidates over men candidates to resolve the top issue in the mayoral election –the housing crisis. Voters give a woman candidate a 25-point advantage over a man candidate on housing. That is one of several important findings by Lake Research Partners in a Denver citywide survey commissioned by Emerge Colorado and Colorado Working Families Party. 

Polling was conducted from July 25 to July 28, 2022, using professional telephone interviewers and a survey online. The survey reached a representative sample of 400 registered voters in Denver, Colorado. The sample was weighted slightly by region, gender, race, party identification, and education to reflect attributes of the actual population. The margin of error is +/- 4.9%.

Key findings include:

  • A solid majority of voters say it is personally important to have more women in elected office. 
  • The base of supporting a woman candidate is made up of women voters, younger voters, and Democratic voters. Democrats find it especially important.
  • Across demographic and attitudinal subgroups, only Republicans say it is not personally important to have more women in elected office. 
  • Over half (52%) of Denver voters are motivated to vote for a woman for mayor, and a quarter (25%) are very motivated. 

Additionally, most voters give women candidates a large advantage over men candidates on handling reproductive health, child care, and gender discrimination issues. Planned Parenthood polled as the strongest organizational validator for Denver candidates, and reproductive freedom/abortion is a very strong issue with Denver voters.

 “After the right-wing Supreme Court decision to eliminate federal protection of the right to abortion, women are increasingly interested in running for office, and voters are more willing to elect them” stated Lisa Calderón, Executive Director of Emerge Colorado and former 2019 Denver mayoral candidate. She believes that Democratic women are the firewall to stop the rapid erosion of hard-won civil rights victories, including housing equity, economic justice and criminal justice reform. “Emerge Colorado is dedicated to building a bench of diverse Democratic women who will lead Colorado, and the nation, into a better future.”

The remainder of the top organizational validators for Denver candidates include Denver teachers, labor unions, and environmental groups, in that order. 

“It’s no surprise that, in the wake of the overturning of Roe, numerous major strikes and union organizing victories across our state and nation in recent years, and an intensifying climate crisis, voters want to know whether a candidate truly stands for reproductive justice, worker justice, and climate justice or not,” said Wendy Howell, State Director of the Colorado Working Families Party. “They want to know that Denver candidates truly are in line with their values and will fight for their needs instead of aligning with the greedy corporations who try to buy our political system in order to pad their bottom lines. Denver voters are eager for true people’s champions to run, and there is a clear path for a progressive woman to be elected Mayor in 2023 if a coalition of progressive groups aligns behind her.”

A majority of voters also indicated that they are ready for the current mayor to move on. Over two-thirds of voters rate the job current Mayor Michael B. Hancock is doing as just fair or poor, with over a third who say he is doing a poor job. It seems clear that Denver voters want change in 2023, and that the current Mayor’s endorsement brings little to no benefit to candidates who accept it, and in fact may be a detriment to them. 

One of the biggest findings is that the mayoral race is wide open, with over half of voters undecided and no candidate earning more than 7% of the vote. 

  • Most Denver voters have not heard about any of the current or potential candidates for mayor or citywide office. Even the best-known candidates are unknown to over 50% of voters.  
  • Being a community leader is the most important trait or experience a candidate for mayor can have, followed by running because an issue impacted their community and having personally experienced challenges. 

“The fact that the field is wide open but leaning toward women candidates to lead Denver in a new direction is an exciting prospect,” stated Calderón. “I’ve been predicting that the 2023 mayoral election will be the year that voters elect a woman for mayor. The only question is which woman. It is a good problem to have.”

For more information about Emerge Colorado, visit For more information about the Colorado Working Families Party, visit

Results Emerge-WFP Mayoral Polling 9.28.22


Emerge Colorado is the state’s premier organization for recruiting and training Democratic women who are interested in running for public office. Emerge Colorado is a state affiliate of Emerge, which was founded in 2005, and has 27 affiliates across the country. In June, Emerge Colorado graduated its tenth class of women from the organization’s intensive training program. Currently, 60 Emerge Colorado alumnae serve in office and 29 alumnae won their primary elections and are on their local ballot this November.

The Working Families Party is a progressive grassroots political party building a multiracial, multigenerational, and feminist movement of working people to transform America. In the last two years, the Working Families Party waged a $2.5 million voter mobilization effort in Georgia to elect Raphael Warnock to the Senate, helped elect WFP champions Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones in heavily-contested Congressional races, drove a wave of victories for progressives in Rhode Island, shook up the New Mexico Democratic establishment with progressive victories under the banner of “No Corporate Dems,” elected a diverse slate of progressives in Delaware, and helped create the most progressive NY state legislature in decades by winning thirty-three state legislative primaries. Since launching a state chapter in Colorado in 2017, WFP has played a key role in winning paid family leave and a ban on predatory payday lending, has helped to flip the majority of the CU Board of Regents, and has worked to successfully elect dozens of bold progressives to state & local offices across the Centennial State.