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Reporter Roundtable: Colorado's Top Of The Ticket Races

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Now that the primary is over Colorado voters can expect a heated election season heading into November. Bente Birkeland talked to fellow statehouse reporters Joey Bunch of Colorado Politics and Jesse Aaron Paul with The Denver Post about this fall's showdown. The candidates are set, except for the Democratic nominee for Attorney General. 

Statehouse reporters reflect on the national and local issues that will impact the gubernatorial race and attorney general's race.

On the differences between Polis and Stapleton

Joey Bunch: Jared has staked out a beachhead on the left and Walker Stapleton has done the same thing on the right. But there is this vast ocean of unaffiliated voters in the middle. So it’s going to be interesting to see how they manage their messaging from here to November to reach those presumably moderate unaffiliated voters.

On the race for attorney general

Jesse Aaron Paul: It’s going to be very fascinating to see that Trump rebuke theme play out here. Democratic attorneys general have played such an important role in pushing back against the White House. It’ll be interesting to see if Colorado voters want to go that route.

On the high participation in the primary election

Bunch: I went back and looked, and normally in mid-term elections Democrats don’t vote that strongly, but boy they sure did this time. I think there were 100,000 more Democrats that voted. Now, granted, Republicans didn’t have quite as competitive a race at the top of the ticket.

Paul: When you take into consideration the fact that the unaffiliated voting block is the largest in the state, and then lean towards Democrats, or at least voted in the Democratic primaries, I think that Walker Stapleton could be in trouble because of his embrace of Trump.

Capitol Coverage is a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

Copyright 2018 KUNC

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.