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The midterms: Previewing the CO primaries

The Boston Globe looks at the troubled freshmen Democrats: “The freshman Democrats face a conundrum: They have few of the trappings of incumbency (longtime name recognition and a list of accomplishments) but many of its downsides (being portrayed as part of a broken system in Washington).”

Stu Rothenberg looks at what he calls “The Dangerous Dozen Open House Seats.”

ARKANSAS: In an interview with Arkansas News, Bill Halter, who lost a primary bid to unseat Sen. Blanche Lincoln in a runoff election, said it was “not an easy thing” to endorse his onetime opponent.

COLORADO: The New York Times says Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican Senate primaries in Colorado “have turned into roaring Rocky Mountain shootouts that could provide the best test yet of how deeply anti-establishment, anti-Washington sentiment is running this year.” More: “With the outcomes set to be settled on Tuesday, independent analysts and party operatives say the contests between the Republicans, Ken Buck and Jane Norton, and the Democrats, Michael Bennet and Andrew Romanoff, are close, making it uncertain who will be left standing to compete in November for a seat that appears up for grabs.”


The best idea? “Republican Senate candidate Jane Norton has been criticized throughout her campaign for being too cozy with Arizona Sen. John McCain,” AP writes. “Two days before the contest ends, though, the former Colorado lieutenant governor launched a cross-state sweep promoting her association with McCain, whom she called an ‘American hero.’ Conservatives in Colorado have griped that Norton, who co-chaired McCain's 2008 presidential campaign here, was hand-picked by party leaders and McCain for the nomination. McCain said he didn't urge Norton to run until she and her husband called and asked his advice. … Norton told reporters Sunday she ‘won't always agree’ with McCain, but she thanked him for supporting her.”

“McCain (R-Ariz.) headlined two campaign rallies for Colorado Senate candidate Jane Norton (R) Sunday,” The Hill writes. “McCain steered clear of trashing Buck directly Sunday, but did reference Norton's rival at a stop in Grand Junction when he implored the crowd to help get out the vote on primary day to ensure ‘the Buck stops here.’”

“Scott McInnis, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, has reached a settlement to repay the Hasan Family Foundation over accusations that he gave the group a plagiarized report on water rights as part of a $300,000 fellowship,” the AP reports.

“Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes on Thursday said that if elected, he would lay off 2,000 state employees ‘just like that,’ despite the fact that many of those terminations could be prohibited by state laws and rules,” the Denver Post reports. “He also said he would ignore federal law and let energy companies drill even if the Interior Department tried to stop it. ‘If (Interior Secretary) Ken Salazar doesn't like it, he can come see me in Denver,’ Maes said.”

KENTUCKY: Time recounts some of the colorful moments at the annual Fancy Farm picnic, where both Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway and his Republican opponent Rand Paul spoke: “A bearded man wandered around bare-legged, carrying a club and bearing a sign on his back: NEANDERPAUL. Paul supporters carried red boxes meant to represent the unwieldy tax code…Two men got into fisticuffs while debating the merits of the candidates and the police had to intervene.”

MARYLAND: The Washington Post has the latest look at the “Palin effect,” this time examining the impact of her endorsement of previously little-known gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy: “In the 72 hours after Palin's announcement, Murphy braced for a surge in campaign contributions, particularly from out-of-state Palin supporters... Privately, [rival Republican candidate Bob] Ehrlich aides have said that getting shunned by Palin could help him in the general election.” http://bit.ly/c58xu4

MISSOURI: Roll Call jumps into Ike Skelton’s race in MO-4, one First Read has dubbed a “Majority Maker,” one of the races that if Republicans win, they likely take back the House. “The last time Rep. Ike Skelton had a competitive election was 1982, not long after fellow Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) celebrated his first birthday,” the paper writes.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: “There is an unusual storyline playing out between the endorsements, fundraisers and political attacks in New Hampshire,” Roll Call reports. “When the 112th Congress convenes in January, the Granite State could be represented by the nation’s first all-female Congressional delegation. New Hampshire already has the distinction of being the only state this cycle with active female candidates left in each of its Congressional races.”

OHIO: Looking at Democrat-held congressional districts that McCain won in ’08 – which the GOP believes are prime pick-up opportunities – the Sunday New York Times profiles OH-16, Rep. John Boccieri’s (D) seat. Boccieri “outperformed Mr. Obama by seven percentage points, but how voters react to his and other Democrats’ support for three administration priorities — the economic stimulus, the health care overhaul and climate change legislation — will help determine whether they can survive the fierce headwinds facing the Democratic Party.”