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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Four Frontrunners

Last night’s primary returns from four states were enough to keep me up past my bedtime. The biggest upset was probably Dan Malloy’ easy win over Ned Lamont in the CT Democratic gubernatorial primary, though the size of Michael Bennet’s eight-point win over Andrew Romanoff in the CO Dem Senate primary certainly surprised me. Three races expected to be very close–the Republican gubernatorial and Senate races in CO, and the GOP gubernatorial runoff–were in fact very close. Karen Handel’s concession to Nathan Deal in GA, with absentee ballots still to be counted and just over two thousand votes separating the candidates, was a bit of a surprise after a long and bitter campaign. Ken Buck’s 52-48 win over Jane Norton showed the value of political “home cooking;” virtually all of his margin can be attributed to a stellar performance in his home county (Weld) and the one next door to it (Larimer). You wish there could have been an exit poll for the CO GOP governor’s race to find out what voters thought they were doing when they cast ballots for Dan Maes. And you’d like to know if there was a point in the long evening when former Senator and now gubernatorial nominee Mark Dayton thought his long political career was finally over.
But here’s the really interesting thing: Democrats are at the moment front-runners in the gubernatorial contest in all four of these states, three of which currently have Republican governors. That’s a bit of good news for the Donkey Party during a tough year.

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