GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — Two Senate primaries that were supposed to be tranquil affairs have turned into roaring Rocky Mountain shootouts that could provide the best test yet of how deeply anti-establishment, anti-Washington sentiment is running this year.
With the outcomes set to be settled on Tuesday, independent analysts and party operatives say the contests between the Republicans, Ken Buck and Jane Norton, and the Democrats, Michael Bennet and Andrew Romanoff, are close, making it uncertain who will be left standing to compete in November for a seat that appears up for grabs.
It was not supposed to be this way.
Mr. Bennet, the incumbent who was appointed last year to fill a Senate vacancy, and Ms. Norton, a former lieutenant governor, were blessed early on by their parties’ hierarchy. They were supposed to breeze to their respective nominations by virtue of the fund-raising help, as well as the stature, the White House could give Mr. Bennet, 45. Ms. Norton, 55, stood to gain the same benefits from the imprimatur of leading national Republicans and the United States Chamber of Commerce.
SENATE, HOUSE ELECTION PRIMARIES