The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue

The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue
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Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley.

Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail.



After an at-times bumpy primary campaign, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperLobbying world DNC taps veteran campaign hands for communications staff Harris casts tiebreaking vote to advance Biden nominee MORE won his state’s Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday, beating back a challenge from former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and setting him up to take on Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (R-Colo.) in November.

The race was called quickly on Tuesday, with The Associated Press (AP) declaring Hickenlooper the winner only about half an hour after voting ended.

While he avoided the kind of close call that some political observers thought possible, Hickenlooper’s primary campaign didn’t go as smoothly as national Democrats had hoped.

The former governor faltered in recent weeks, stumbling over verbal gaffes and a run-in with Colorado’s independent ethics commission that resulted in a contempt finding after he failed to appear at a scheduled hearing. Republicans are poised to pounce on Hickenlooper’s ethics troubles as the general election campaign ramps up. Still, Hickenlooper’s win is likely to pose a threat to Gardner’s reelection prospects in November.

Tuesday’s primaries also yielded an upset for Rep. Scott TiptonScott R. TiptonGosar's office denies he will appear on popular QAnon talk show Democrats press to bar lawmakers from carrying guns in the Capitol House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE (R-Colo.) in Colorado’s 3rd District. Tipton, a five-term incumbent backed by President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE, lost his primary bid to political newcomer Lauren Boebert, who challenged Tipton from the right. Boebert’s win drew immediate criticism from Democrats, who have pointed to her past comments apparently sympathizing with the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Meanwhile, in Utah, the closest-watched primary fight is still unresolved, with former Gov. Jon Huntsman trailing Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox by a slim 3-point margin in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.


The news is striking given Huntsman's outsized profile in the state and the fact that he was previously elected to two terms in the governor’s mansion. But Cox had his own set of advantages heading into the Tuesday primary, including an endorsement from current Gov. Gary Herbert and unique leadership credentials stemming from his role in heading up Utah’s coronavirus response.

It’s been four decades since Utah elected a Democratic governor, and whoever emerges victorious from the GOP primary will be seen as the likely successor for Herbert.

—Max Greenwood


Hickenlooper beats back progressive challenge in Colorado primary, by Max

Oklahoma voters narrowly approve Medicaid expansion, by Max

Utah Lt. Gov. Cox leads Huntsman in close governor’s race, by The Hill's Tal Axelrod.

Colorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset, by Tal 

Terry Neese, Stephanie Bice head to head to Oklahoma GOP runoff, by Abigail Mihaly.


Trump’s reelection campaign has announced a staff shake-up about four months before the general election as polls show him trailing Biden. Michael Glassner, who organizes Trump’s rallies, is being reassigned to a legal role within the campaign, and Jeff DeWit, a former Arizona state treasurer and Trump's 2016 Arizona chair, will come on as chief operating officer.

The shake-up comes after a rally two weekends ago in Tulsa, Okla., where the president garnered embarrassing headlines after being unable to fill the arena and several campaign staffers contracted the coronavirus. Tal reports.

Julia Manchester reports from Orlando: Democrats are seizing on the recent coronavirus spike in Florida, blaming it on the leadership of President Trump and GOP Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisCruise line CEO says ships may avoid Florida over COVID-19 passport ban The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - More states are passing voting restrictions Ex-DeSantis staffers form support group MORE in a critical swing state that could help decide November's general election.


Steve IsraelSteven (Steve) J. IsraelOpposition to refugees echoes one of America's most shameful moments White House races clock to beat GOP attacks Overnight Defense: Biden's stalled Pentagon nominee gets major support | Blinken presses China on North Korea ahead of meeting | Army will not return medals to soldier Trump pardoned MORE: Democratic leaders are much more progressive than you might believe.

Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonPollster Frank Luntz: Trump's 'Big Lie' is working, may cost GOP votes Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch: Fox won back ratings after second impeachment trial Pompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' MORE: Democrats are steamrolling weak Republicans.


The New York City Board of elections will not start counting ballots that were mailed in for last week’s primaries until next week, likely delaying results in a number of competitive races that remain too close to call. Tal reports.


Hundreds of former members of the George W. Bush administration have formed a super PAC to Biden, saying they are alarmed by Trump’s conduct in office. Tal reports.

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic Senate nominee in Georgia, pulled in $3.45 million in the second quarter of 2020, his campaign announced on Wednesday, including $2.35 million in the three weeks following his primary win earlier this month.


Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBattle lines drawn over Biden's support for vaccine waivers Overnight Energy: Update on Biden administration conservation goals | GOP sees opportunity to knock Biden amid rising gas prices | Push for nationwide electric vehicle charging stations The Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSchumer works to balance a divided caucus's demands White House raises refugee cap to 62,500 Sharpton eulogizes Daunte Wright: 'Tags of racism' have expired MORE (D-Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyBush testifies before Congress about racist treatment Black birthing people face during childbirth, pregnancy Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say Advocates warn against complacency after Chauvin verdict MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSix House Democrats ask Garland to review case of lawyer placed under house arrest over Chevron suit OSHA sends draft emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 to OMB review Imperative that Democrats figure out what went wrong in 2020 MORE (D-Mich.) are launching a joint effort to raise money for other progressive candidates.




Biden: 51%

Trump: 44%



Biden: 50%

Trump: 45%


Biden: 51%

Trump: 44%


Biden: 48%

Trump: 43%


Biden: 50%

Trump: 44%


Biden: 51%

Trump: 43%


July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primaries

July 11:

Louisiana primaries

July 14:

Alabama primary runoffs

Texas primary runoffs

Maine primaries

Aug. 4:

Arizona primaries

Kansas primaries

Michigan primaries

Missouri primaries

Washington primaries

Aug. 11:

Connecticut primaries

Minnesota primaries

Vermont primaries

Wisconsin primaries

Georgia primary runoffs


Aug. 18:

Alaska primaries

Florida primaries

Wyoming primaries

Aug. 17-20:

Democratic National Convention

Aug. 24-27:

Republican National Convention

Sept. 1:

Massachusetts primaries

Sept. 8:

New Hampshire primaries

Rhode Island primaries

Sept. 15:

Delaware primaries

Sept. 29:

First presidential debate

Oct. 7:

Vice presidential debate

Oct. 15:

Second presidential debate

Oct. 22:

Third presidential debate