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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► On Thursday afternoon, Governor Jared Polis announced the first two positive tests for Coronavirus in Colorado. As The Denver Post reports:
Polis announced the second case at a Thursday afternoon news conference that had been called to discuss the first case.
The state said Thursday evening that the second patient is an older woman from Douglas County who had returned to Colorado from an international cruise. She is “isolated at her home per CDC guidelines,” the state health department said…
…“At the end of the day we have a very robust health care system in this state,” Polis said. “We’ve been preparing for this moment, we are now in execution mode of this plan.”
Polis was calm and reassuring in Thursday’s press conference, a marked difference from the chaotic federal government response driven by the Trump administration (which continues to demonstrate that nobody is talking to anybody else about how to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak).
The White House is also considering options for helping the tourism industry, which has been getting pummeled because of COVID-19.
► Democrats and Republicans in Colorado will hold their caucuses on Saturday to determine ballot access for races from U.S. Senate down to county coroner. The Denver Post has more on what will be a critical day for Senate candidates not named John Hickenlooper.
On the Republican side, expect some right-wing challenges to candidates who are considered more “moderate,” because the far right in Colorado is still convinced that they need the craziest candidates in every district.
Also, a guy named “Critter” will be seeking the U.S. Senate nomination from the Unity Party.
► Presidential campaigns (those of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, mostly) will be making the rounds this weekend ahead of six more elections on Tuesday. Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Washington will hold Primary Elections on March 10, while voters in North Dakota will do the caucus thing. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, Michigan will be the big prize on Tuesday:
On Thursday morning, with much fanfare (and tweeting), former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign announced that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had endorsed his presidential bid.
Within hours, Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced that the Vermont senator would cancel a planned trip to Mississippi on Friday and instead head directly to Michigan.
These things are not a coincidence.
Michigan, which will hold its primary on March 10, is not only the biggest delegate prize of that day (125 delegates) but also hugely important, symbolically speaking, given that it was one of three critical Midwestern states President Donald Trump flipped to his side in the 2016 presidential race.
In the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary, Bernie Sanders pulled out a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in Michigan.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump will be back in Colorado next Friday (yes, Friday the 13th) for a fundraising luncheon to help the re-election campaign of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma). You can reserve a table for the steep price of $100,000. If you’re wondering what is on the menu, the odds are strong that it will be either steak, hamburgers, or meatloaf.
► Democrats have a strong candidate for State Senate in one of the most competitive districts in Colorado.
► Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) is holding a town hall meeting in Fort Collins today. Colorado’s other U.S. Senator, Republican Cory Gardner, hasn’t held a town hall meeting in more than two years.
► College athletes in Colorado could soon earn money for endorsements under legislation on its way to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis.
► We love that the brother of Bernie Sanders calls his little bro “Bernard.”
► Health Secretary Alex Azar has been benched by PresidentTrump.
► Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, unfortunately, has not been benched by President Trump.
► Here’s an update on ballot return numbers for Colorado from Magellan Strategies.
► Former Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed Democrat James Iacino in CO-3.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Congressman/ State Republican Party Chair Ken Buck is such a tool:
I have just one message for Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke, if you want to take everyone’s AR-15s, why don’t you swing by my office in Washington, D.C. and start with this one?
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) March 6, 2020
Maybe you bring that gun to Colorado and shoot yourself some Coronavirus.
► Um, okay.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast. House Majority Leader Alec Garnett talks us through what happens if the Coronavirus starts showing up in the State Capitol building.