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Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper won the state's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday evening, per AP.

Of note: Hickenlooper wasn't the only eye-catching win Tuesday night. Lauren Boebert (R) defeated the Trump-endorsed incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in the Republican primary for Colorado's third congressional district.

Why Hickenlooper's win matters: He will now face off against Sen. Cory Gardner — largely considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the November general elections. But the former governor has faced recent backlash over past comments and ethics complaints.

  • Hickenlooper apologized this month for his 2014 comments comparing public officials to slaves being whipped on an "ancient slave ship."
  • An ethics committee determined that Hickenlooper violated state law by accepting gifted rides in a private jet and a Maserati limousine, per the Washington Post. He was fined $3,000, and held in contempt after failing to appear for the first day of hearings on the matter.

Between the lines: Hickenlooper was the latest establishment Democrat to face a possible upset from a more progressive challenger — in this case, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

  • 16-term Rep. Eliot Engel (D) was notably defeated last week in the New York primaries by Jamaal Bowman, a progressive former middle school principle.
  • Amy McGrath, a 2018 sweetheart of the Democratic Party, nearly lost to progressive Charles Booker in the Kentucky Democratic Senate primary amid ongoing pressure from Black Lives Matter activists.
  • In Colorado, Romanoff was in favor of Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal — both policy positions that Hickenlooper has veered to the right of.

Go deeper

Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal fends off primary challenge

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, on Tuesday evening defeated his primary challenger Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts' 1st Congressional District, the AP reports.

Why it matters: It's a victory for the establishment wing of the Democratic Party, which took a hit with the primary defeat of House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (N.Y.) earlier this year. Neal had been targeted for his ties to corporate lobbyists and resistance to progressive policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

The social media addiction bubble

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Right now, everyone from Senate leaders to the makers of Netflix's popular "Social Dilemma" is promoting the idea that Facebook is addictive.

Yes, but: Human beings have raised fears about the addictive nature of every new media technology since the 18th century brought us the novel, yet the species has always seemed to recover its balance once the initial infatuation wears off.

Young people's next big COVID test

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Young, healthy people will be at the back of the line for coronavirus vaccines, and they'll have to maintain their sense of urgency as they wait their turn — otherwise, vaccinations won't be as effective in bringing the pandemic to a close.

The big picture: "It’s great young people are anticipating the vaccine," said Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at the University of Texas. But the prospect of that enthusiasm waning is "a cause for concern," she said.

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