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Why Colorado Is a Bellwether for Tea Party Politics

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Time magazine describes Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, as a “volatile conservative.” If he loses to Jane Norton in the August 10 primary, Time writes, he will have helped weaken an “establishment choice who has been discombobulated and driven to the right by party activists.” If he wins, Buck, a candidate with strong Tea Party support, may be easier to “demonize” by Democrats than Norton in the November general election.

The magazine adds, “The Democrats in the Kentucky, Nevada, and Colorado races now have the opportunity to so demonize the Republican nominees, based on their extreme issue positions and unartful statements, that they are rendered unelectable.”

The Wall Street Journal also explores the potential downside of Tea Party endorsements, writing that the Buck-Norton election is among the “test cases crucial to the national political balance of power.” Among the questions that remain unanswered: How radical is the mood, and can Republicans take back control of the Senate?

The Journal also points to Senate races in Colorado, Nevada, Kentucky, and Florida, saying that in each, Democrats and “some outside analysts think Republicans may be shooting themselves in the foot by nominating candidates who can be painted as extremists with conservative views outside the mainstream, in a year when simply nominating safe, garden-variety Republicans would be good enough to win.” Watch the Journal’s video on the subject below.

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