What to watch in the 2022 primary election as Colorado mails ballots
Colorado county clerks can begin mailing ballots to voters Monday for the June 28 primary election.
Why it matters: The arrival of mail ballots marks a turning point in the race as candidates amplify their campaign outreach and hit TV and radio airwaves with a final advertising blitz.
State of play: For now, most voters are paying little attention to the intra-party contests, but the races are crucial to each party's chances in the November election.
- Much of the spotlight is on Republicans, who are nominating candidates to challenge incumbent Democrats for three major statewide races: U.S. Senate, governor and secretary of state.
What to watch: Here's our rundown of the themes and races to keep an eye on:
1. A fractured GOP: In each of the marquee races, more mainstream Republicans are facing far-right conservatives who align strongly with former President Trump and dispute the outcome of the 2020 election
- How the races are decided will signal the current GOP mood in Colorado.
- If the more far-right candidates get elected, it could make it increasingly difficult for the party to appeal to moderate voters and defeat Democrats in November.
2. Turnout: So far only diehard voters in both parties are interested in the race, meaning they could skew the contests toward the political edges.
- But in Colorado, unaffiliated voters can choose to cast ballots in either the Republican or Democratic primary — not both. This group leans 60-40 toward Democrats, so if many vote it could change the outcome.
3. Trump: The former president is making endorsements in many GOP primary elections across the nation, but so far he's remained on the sidelines of the Colorado races.
- If he backs a candidate, it could provide a much-needed boost like it has in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states.
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