Former Vice President Joe Biden was named president by a number of news organizations Saturday morning after a morning push of ballot results in Pennsylvania appeared to put a comeback from President Donald Trump out of reach.
The Democrat's apparent victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.
While swing states Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia factored in the final hours, Colorado's race was called 30 minutes after the polls closed Tuesday night.
Gov. Jared Polis was one of the first Colorado officials to react Saturday morning. He endorsed Biden in June.
“What makes America extraordinary is that our elections are safe and secure and that the results reflect the will of the people. Every legitimate vote is counted and a winner is declared and we all respect the process," the Democratic governor said.
"In 2020, Coloradans showed the world that our election system is safe, reliable and our democracy functions at its best when we break down barriers to ensure more people vote. A new dawn is rising in America.
"Congratulations to President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris on a historic victory in Colorado and across the country and on focusing on what unites us all as Americans. I am excited to work with the Biden-Harris administration to continue building a Colorado for all, and a United States of America for all."
Biden came out of Colorado with the biggest margin of victory from the highest turnout in Colorado history, a 398,161 votes difference from almost 3.3 million voters, which is 85% of the state's registered voters.
The difference eclipsed Ronald Reagan's 1984 blowout of Walter Mondale by 366,844 voters in the race that had about 1.3 million voters.
Barack Obama, with Biden as his running mate, won the state by 214,904 votes in 2008 and 137,858 in 2012.
Democrats will lead Colorado from the White House to the governor's mansion to the statehouse. Republicans control none of the statewide executive offices, after losing up and down the ballot two years ago.
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper's win over U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner left Heidi Ganahl, the University of Colorado regent at-large, as the only Republican elected statewide.
On election night, Gardner said of the Hickenlooper transition, "I will support him in any way that I can to make sure it's as smooth as possible.
Gardner said to Colorado Republicans, "His success is Colorado's success, and our state and our nation need him to succeed."
Gov. Jared Polis retained the luxury of a Democratic-led House and Senate for another two years, with one with more Democrat in the state Senate and one fewer Republican, after the GOP lost an open seat in south metro Denver.
Energy is on the menu, and Biden and Polis both support transitioning to a 100% renewable supply by 2040.
Yet, Colorado has a Democratic governor and president with empty pockets to solve the state's biggest problems because the pandemic, much less balance a clean environment with an economic recovery.
Trump sided solidly with fossil fuels and accused wind turbines of killing birds and causing cancer, which fact-checkers shot down.
Polis liked it when the president awarded the headquarters of Space Force to Colorado Springs, however, but their alliance ended there.
State Democratic leaders called on the new president to keep Colorado in mind.
"As President-elect Biden starts to work on his transition and proactive policy agenda, he should look toward Colorado as an example of how to bridge the partisan divide to create a vision that resonates with everyday Americans," said Michal Rosenoer, the executive director of Emerge Colorado, which trains women to run for office. "Democrats in Colorado have pursued great policy over the past few years, from democracy reform to public lands protections to worker's rights, and voters have rewarded them with statewide majorities while booting those who stood in the way.
"President Biden would be smart to look to our non-coastal state for clues on how to win faith and support from middle-of-the-road voters as he begins his tenure in the White House."
Under Polis and Hickenlooper before him, the state has struggled to pay for its roads and bridges. Lawmakers and taxpayers have balked at the billions of dollars needed to catch up and keep up with the state's explosive growth.
"We were encouraged that both candidates highlighted our nation's infrastructure as a high priority and key to getting our economy going again," Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, told Colorado Politics. "We hope that this promise of increased and adequate funding to address the current and future needs of our nation's transportation system is kept."
Biden sounds a lot like Polis on the issue. Infrastructure can mean transit, and Polis has long coveted Front Range commuter rail.
According to Biden's platform: "We need millions of construction, skilled trades, and engineering workers to build a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy. These jobs will create pathways for young people and for older workers shifting to new professions, and for people from all backgrounds and all communities. Their work will improve air quality for our children, increase the comfort of our homes, and make our businesses more competitive. The investments will make sure the communities who have suffered the most from pollution are first to benefit — including low-income rural and urban communities, communities of color, and Native communities."
Trillions of dollars are in the balance. When Trump ran four years ago, he promised a $1 trillion national infrastructure program, which resurfaced last year when he and Democratic leaders discussed a $2 trillion plan that never panned out. Roads and bridges were part of the coronavirus relief bill that passed the House last May, but Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell spiked the proposal, promising the Republicans would offer a "more modest" infrastructure plan in the future.
Other Colorado leaders braced for the crisis of faith ahead that could test America, or at least many Americans, as the nation heals from an election so bitter and divisive that Walmart removed guns and ammo from its stores before Election Day and windows were boarded up in downtown Denver in anticipation of violence.
Priests, rabbis, lay ministers and gospel singers in Denver and online Thursday to pray for the best with the leadership of the nation in the balance. The prayer festival was put together by Together Colorado, the community organization of 220 congregations — Jewish, Unitarian Universalist, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and others.
One after another offered a short sermon about faith and hope with occasional side trips into immigration, affordable housing, equal justice, believing in what you can't see and being bigger than the moment supported by faith.
"No matter how this election turns out, and we all know how we want it to turn out, we will have to continue singing," Rabbi Rachel Kobrin of Rodef Shalom in Denver said, capping off a parable about preaching to the choir. "We will have to continue moving forward. We will have to continue pursuing justice, and one way do that right now is insisting — insisting — that each vote is counted, every single ballot, every single voice in this country must be heard."