The 2010 mid-term elections were marked with change: a change in power from Democrats back to Republicans, a change in advertising and a change in attitude.
â€œIt was overall a good year for Republicans,â€ said John Straayer, a Colorado State University political science professor who is currently on sabbatical, about the shift of power in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the 2008 election, Democrats secured majority in both the U.S. House and Senate. This year, however, the GOP won majority in the U.S. House while the Democrats narrowly retained their power in the Senate.
In Coloradoâ€™s 4th Congressional District, Democrat incumbent Michael Bennet beat out Republican Party pick Ken Buck â€“â€“ this staying true to the national trend.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 239 Republicans and 185 Democrats had their seats secured, with only 11 seats undecided. In the Senate, 52 Democrats and 46 Republicans secured their seats, with two seats undecided.
Out of the 164,594 registered voters in Larimer County, polling records show that only 85,769 voted. Of those, 35,821 were Republican, 26,881 were Democrat and 22,529 were unaffiliated.
State Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, was elected to represent in CD-4 the U.S. House with 53.1 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat incumbent Betsy Markey.
â€œLocally, weâ€™re excited over the fact that we expect to take over the house,â€ said Larry Carillo, chairman for the Republican Party of Larimer County.
Carillo said he sensed the need for a balance of power between both political parties.
â€œPeople like to have balance in their government,â€ Carillo said. â€œWhen one party has too much power, I think that makes people uncomfortable.â€
Most of the seats held by Democrats for the past two years, Straayer said, have historically been held by Republican politicians. For example, when Markey was elected in 2008 it broke a Republican hold of more than 30 years.
â€œThis was a classic mid-term election,â€ said William Russell, chairman for the Larimer County Democratic Party. â€œThe big surprise is that those Democrats won those seats to begin with.â€
According to Straayer, this yearâ€™s election showed discontent among voters in regard to the inner-workings and policy making of the current government.
â€œThe election revealed a level of anxiety and discontent on the part of the American public attributable to the economy and other hardships,â€ Straayer said. â€œIf the economy doesnâ€™t improve we will see more of that impatient public.â€
Some voters were swayed to vote a certain way because of the economy, the recession and the volume and nature of certain political advertisements, Straayer said.
â€œA lot of these races have kind of become nationalized as interest groups target competitive areas,â€ Straayer said. â€œThe result is that itâ€™s not just local money at the local level, itâ€™s more national.â€
To Russell, the election results are upsetting but not surprising.
â€œIt hurts, but weâ€™ve been at this a long time and weâ€™re going to come back,â€ Russell said.
City Council Beat Reporter Erin Udell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.