The challenge for candidates appearing at this weekend's assemblies will be trying to cast themselves as rogue outsiders while not angering loyalists to other candidates. After all, candidates who go too far blasting their opposition as insider party hacks risk angering the voters they'll need to court after winning the party nomination.
Seth Masket, a University of Denver political scientist and delegate to the state Democratic assembly, said contested primary candidates use the assemblies not to win new fans but to assure the party faithful that all could support the winner.
"They're going to say no matter what happens, we're all Democrats, I believe in what you believe," said Masket, who is supporting Romanoff.
A Republican activist who wants Buck to win the Senate nomination, Arvada accountant Nathan Hatcher, said it's natural all the candidates are trying to paint themselves as outsiders given how unpopular Congress is. But the longtime party activist just chuckled when asked whether party unrest may hit a new level this year's assemblies.
"I've seen worse," he said. "Of course there will be hard feelings when someone doesn't win, but that's always the case. People are looking at the bigger picture — November."