Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper speaks on the first night of the second 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Detroit, Michigan, July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

With 88% of the vote in, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper won the Democratic Senate nomination on Tuesday. Hickenlooper will face sitting U.S. Senator Cory Gardner in the election on Nov. 3. Democrats widely view Hickenlooper as “among the party’s best shots” at a seat in the chamber in an effort to “wrest control from Republicans in November.”

According to Secretary of State Jena Griswold, 99% of voters in the primary election voted by mail-in ballot, which has been a point of contention as the nation gears up for the general election in November. The Colorado primary on Tuesday also saw the largest voter turnout for a non-presidential primary election in the state’s history.

In the upcoming election, Gardner is expected to tout his successes for the state of Colorado while in Congress while portraying Hickenlooper as a corrupt politician during his time as Colorado governor. In late May, Hickenlooper was charged $2,750 for state ethics violations after accepting a ride in a private jet and limousine from a donor during his term as governor. Hickenlooper intends to tie Gardner to Trump’s agenda as the president’s approval ratings drop during the pandemic.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Analysis | What voting by mail looks like when it works – Washington Post – 7/1/2020
So what needs to happen for voting by mail to go right? The Fix talked to Amber McReynolds, the election official who in 2013 set up voting by mail in Colorado. It’s one of five states that was regularly holding elections by mail before the pandemic. McReynolds runs Vote at Home, a nonpartisan nonprofit advocating for and advising on how to conduct elections via mail. She said that when vote-by-mail works, it’s because states have followed best practices to keep ballots secure and keep voters informed. Here’s what that looks like for your typical voter in Colorado.

Colorado progressives begrudgingly turn toward John Hickenlooper after U.S. Senate primary victory – The Colorado Sun – 7/1/2020
The diverse coalition of environmental and social justice activists in Colorado at the core of the party have long scorned Hickenlooper and even organized protests against him at the national party convention in 2016, in large part for his close ties with the oil and gas industry. In the primary election, these activists once again shunned Hickenlooper citing his state ethics violations and racially insensitive actions, and aligned with Romanoff, a vocal backer of the Green New Deal.

Why President Trump and Senate Republicans’ Prospects Are Still Good – Townhall – 6/28/2020
Senate Democrats need to pick up 4 seats in the Senate, if they win the presidency, to take over control, assuming Sen. Jones loses. The Times references troubles for retaining the seats of Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Susan Collins (R-ME). The only way Democrats pick up the Senate is if a Democratic wave for Biden carries at least four of the five Democrats running for these seats into the Senate.

Democrats are seeing a much better chance of retaking the Senate in 2020 – Vox – 5/18/2020
Election forecasters believe Colorado is Democrats’ likeliest pickup opportunity in the fall for one big reason: The state has become reliably blue since 2014. There’s a Democratic trifecta in the governor’s mansion and state legislature. Colorado is diversifying, its suburban voters are a prime demographic for Democrats, and polls show many of these voters do not like Trump. Immigration and gun control are two big issues in a state that is home to immigrants and has seen multiple mass shootings.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Ryan Warner on Twitter, 7/1/2020: Russian bounties, the #ACA during a pandemic, and priorities for a 2nd term. We got @SenCoryGardner on the record– now that the general election has begun. Here’s today’s podcast. Tomorrow, @Hickenlooper

Democratic Coalition on Twitter, 7/1/2020: Whether you backed them or not, after tough primary victories we ALL need to rally around @AmyMcGrathKY and @Hickenlooper in order to defeat #MoscowMitch and Trump sycophant Cory Gardner. Please follow them both and let’s #FlipTheSenate below

Nick Riccardi on Twitter, 7/1/2020: Cory Gardner just called John Hickenlooper “the most corrupt governor in the history of Colorado.” And away we go

Esmé Patterson on Twitter, 7/1/2020: depressed that I have to vote for hickenlooper now, but I will. not pumped to vote for Biden, but I will. it’s time to vote like ppl’s lives depend on it BECAUSE THEY DO. This year of voting is about putting pride aside to live to fight another day. 3rd party votes = violence, rn

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