Hot Summer Primaries More than a dozen states are voting this month, mostly to nominate candidates for November elections. This week Colorado chooses candidates in both parties for governor and senator, as does Connecticut. Minnesotans and Georgians will also be voting. Host Liane Hansen talks to NPR Political Editor Ken Rudin about the races.
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Hot Summer Primaries

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Hot Summer Primaries

Hot Summer Primaries

Hot Summer Primaries

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More than a dozen states are voting this month, mostly to nominate candidates for November elections. This week Colorado chooses candidates in both parties for governor and senator, as does Connecticut. Minnesotans and Georgians will also be voting. Host Liane Hansen talks to NPR Political Editor Ken Rudin about the races.

LIANE HANSEN, Host:

Joining us to talk about those contests is NPR's political editor Ken Rudin, our own Political Junkie. Nice to see you again, Ken.

KEN RUDIN: Good morning, Liane.

HANSEN: There's been a lot of change in Colorado in recent years. The state went from Reagan red to Obama blue. There's a lot at stake this year. What's going on?

RUDIN: So when they asked Ken Buck why they should vote for him, he said, well, I don't have high heels. I have cowboy boots. And now they're trying to make this into a big gender battle. So both parties clearly have an establishment being threatened by outsider candidates.

HANSEN: The establishment candidate, the one currently in office, received President Obama's endorsement on the Democrat side. What's the value of that?

RUDIN: If Michael Bennet loses on Tuesday, a lot of the Democrats around the country will be asking: What is the value of having the president's endorsement since it's failed in Colorado and it's failed elsewhere?

HANSEN: There's also a governor's race going in Colorado. And I understand Republicans were expecting to win back the seat but they've been having some problems.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

RUDIN: Look, the Republicans are in big trouble anyway, but the split among Republican ranks are probably going to elect the Democratic nominee, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

HANSEN: On the eastern side of the country, another closely watched Senate race in Connecticut. Now, Democrats were once in big trouble but now they're favored to keep the seat. But Democrats are worried anyway. Explain.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

RUDIN: Democrats are favored but the polls are closer than they were a month ago and Republicans are not capping out this seat.

HANSEN: And there's a governor's race going on in Minnesota, and in Georgia there's a Republican runoff for governor. And Sarah Palin apparently is playing a role. What's going on there?

RUDIN: So it's the Colorado race has Clinton versus Obama. This is Palin versus Gingrich. Lots of surrogate battles going on, on Tuesday.

HANSEN: NPR's political editor and Political Junkie, Ken Rudin. Ken, thanks a lot.

RUDIN: Thank you, Liane.

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