Political news

State of Colorado

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Monday that Colorado would accept Syrian refugees. President Barack Obama said the U.S. would receive at least 10,000 Syrian refugees within the next year, but a growing list of Republican governors pledged to block refugees from relocating to their states.

"We can protect our security and provide a place where the world's most vulnerable can rebuild their lives," said Hickenlooper in a statement.

Tuesday night's Republican debate focused on economic issues. NPR reporters look at candidate claims about business creation, the minimum wage, trade and the length of the tax code.

NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley on the health of the economy:

Republican candidates painted a fairly bleak picture of the U.S. economy during the debate, offering a litany of discouraged workers, sluggish economic growth and children living on food stamps.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

After five years on the job, Colorado's Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia announced that he is stepping down from the position and as head of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Garcia will leave his dual-role to helm a higher education policy group for the western U.S., the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

When Speaker of the House John Boehner resigned earlier this week he said, as he often has, that he's "just a regular guy, humbled by the chance to do a big job."

He's far from regular on Capitol Hill, but one of the few places in Washington Boehner can still get away with that title just might be Pete's Diner on Capitol Hill.

Most days of the week owner Gum Tong and her staff prepare the same breakfast for Boehner — "the regular standard, eggs and sausage," Tong said. "That's what he always has."

Donald Trump has run his presidential campaign by his own rules, and he's blown past traditional candidates, playing by the old rules, in the process.

Jeb Bush went straight to New Hampshire after Wednesday night's Republican debate. That's where the former Florida governor needs a strong showing if he is to remain a contender for his party's nomination and where he's now working to reignite a campaign seen as sputtering.

The large sign that hung above Jeb Bush's head during his New Hampshire campaign stops read "Jeb Can Fix it." It was intended to refer to Washington, but to GOP voters like Larry Eller, who turned out to see Bush at a Geno's Chowder Shop in Portsmouth, the first thing Bush needs to fix is how he's campaigned.

One candidate came out of Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate with a lot of questions to answer — Jeb Bush.

Supporters were disappointed by his performance and inability to stand out at a critical time for his campaign. As Bush struggles, his chances may come down to the early primary state of New Hampshire.

Bush had a big moment preplanned in that Colorado debate. It was aimed at Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for missing so many votes in the Senate while campaigning.

When Kentucky voters elect a new governor next week, it will be a test of where white, rural voters' allegiances lie. The Democratic Party has been losing their vote for decades, but in Kentucky, that old coalition has stuck around much longer than in its neighbors to the south.

And in the race to replace retiring Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear this November, Republicans hope to finally win over that portion of the electorate.

To understand current-day political branding in Kentucky, you have to go back to the Civil War.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Dozens of watch parties were held across the state Wednesday night as the Republican Party's presidential contenders held their third debate at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

In downtown Denver, at the Epernay Lounge, business and grassroots Republican groups hosted a debate watch party that mostly consisted of moderate Republicans; many were undecided and had several possibilities for support.

Tom Pratt / Flickr - Creative Commons

When politicians open their campaigns, they often consider how to cluster the U.S. population into smaller groups. That way, they can target the votes they need to win.

For example, politicians might support women’s access to contraception to rally the young, unmarried women’s vote. Or they might speak against same-sex marriage legislation to gain support from social conservatives.

Yet there’s a moment when these groups become problematic and ineffective. Not every conservative wishes to ban gay marriage. Not every woman is pro-choice. Not every Latino ranks immigration reform as a top priority.