A forum for students and faculty to post perspectives on key domestic and foreign policy issues.
Friday, April 10, 2020
Democratic Primary: Is it Over?
John Hickenlooper | Photo: Getty
The coronavirus emergency has shut down the public aspects of American politics at the moment it was reaching its peak activity. Just as the presidential primary campaigns have become dormant, the Colorado primary race for senate is now frozen in place with virtual county assemblies and state conventions. All to the benefit of frontrunner John Hickenlooper, who is already on the ballot by petition and just announced he would not participate in the party process. He already has avoided candidate forums as much as possible. Any remaining events before the June primary will likely be virtual and mostly devoid of a real clash. Rivals are now denied a live audience and the dynamics needed to show grassroots support.
But, along with freezing the primary process just as rivals needed visibility from rallies and party activities, the issues have shifted from the Democrats’ left-center divide to competence. Hickenlooper, who had been on the defense with the party’s far left, is the winner on the issue of executive experience and competence. One of his most salient images in his eight-year term as governor was dealing with crises from fires, floods and horrendous shootings.
It’s hard to imagine Hickenlooper’s final three months until the June primary on more favorable territory.