Dragging out the knock down, drag out 

With debate about national issues degenerating into negative campaigning and bickering, voters are increasingly disenchanted with the interminable and needlessly complicated Democratic primary system.

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Kjersten Forseth
East side

Political consultant
What's your read on the Clinton-Obama battle? It's a healthy process to go through. Even small states like Wyoming and Montana are still in play on the Dem side. That's better for overall participation.

Is the Democratic party growing in Colorado? There's been a huge influx of people who don't fit the evangelical/military mode. More Republicans and unaffiliateds are ticket-splitting, voting Republican in one race, Democratic in another.

Is excitement over the campaign waxing or waning? There's a lull at present, but people are still energized. They need a venue to put their excitement into. Once the Democratic nominee is determined, things will fire up again.

What would you tell the candidates in private? I'd say the same thing to all three: Be yourself. Don't be so uptight about how you should be perceived.

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Betty Lucero

Safeway employee
What's your view of the Clinton-Obama race? I'm disappointed. It's gotten off track and become too personal. It's no longer about the issues facing our country.

Are Democrats on the rise locally? We have a wider variety of people. People are getting tired of Republicans.

Is Clinton or Obama more likely to beat McCain? Obama. He's likable and charismatic. That's a big deal to people.

What would you advise the candidates in private? Concentrate on the issues facing our country: health care, rising gas costs, skyrocketing costs in general. Focus on the people's needs instead of their own.

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John Teeter
West side

Coffee importer
How do you view the Clinton-Obama race? I'm dismayed that the public isn't seeing through Obama. I wasn't pulling for Hillary a year ago, but I sure am now.

Are you excited about the election? I'm less excited than concerned. Reality has gone completely out the window.

Who'll win the nomination? If America wants to go completely stupid and go with style over substance, it'll be Obama. If they want somebody who has the connections to make an imperfect situation work pragmatically, it'll be Clinton.

What about the Wright controversy? I'm white-hot about it. What would liberal attitudes be if a Republican candidate had alignments with George Lincoln Rockwell or David Duke?


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