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What do Colorado GOP's subpoenas mean for the party and Boebert and Lynch's race?

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Amid news that the Colorado GOP subpoenaed Republican state Rep. Mike Lynch over unaffiliated voters, political analysts are now looking at what this means for the upcoming Congressional primary election between Lynch, Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and others, and the party, more broadly.

News of those subpoenas was first reported by the Colorado Sun earlier this week. Their story highlights rifts within the Colorado Republican Party and efforts to stop unaffiliated voters from voting in the primary elections. Colorado has open primaries which means, among other things, voters who are unaffiliated with either major party can cast a vote for candidates in either party's primary.

State law requires the two major parties to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their primaries, according to the Colorado Secretary of State's Office; something some within the state GOP appear to be trying to change.

Colorado State Rep. Mike Lynch, former U.S. Rep Ken Buck and U.S. Rep Lauren Boebert Courtesy / Colorado General Assembly, U.S. Congress

In that race for Colorado's 4th Congressional District, Lynch, Boebert and about nine other candidates are seeking the Republican nomination. The Colorado GOP endorsed Boebert earlier this month, sparking criticism among some Colorado Republicans.

That primary is for the seat that was occupied by Ken Buck until he abruptly resigned last month, paving the way for a special election.

Republican political analyst Dick Wadhams sarcastically told CBS News Colorado political specialist Shaun Boyd in this week's Left, Right, Center that the move "speaks to the brilliance" of Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams.

Dick Wadhams CBS

"I think it's brilliant to tell 48% of the electorate -- 1.7 million unaffiliateds -- to get lost; 'we don't want you and we're going to go to court to make sure you have no role in the Republican nomination process.' Makes sense to me," Wadhams said with heavy sarcasm. "The Republican Party is impotent, it is irrelevant right now and Dave Williams and that whole crowd are driving it deeper -- Lauren Boebert, the whole crowd is driving it deeper and we're just gonna see how far it's gonna have to fall before it collapses and something else can emerge."

Whadams says the subpoenas and the entire lawsuit are "stupid."

Democratic political analyst Sheila MacDonald said it was a "short-term strategy for the Republicans to be trying to alienate unaffiliated voters when they're the largest voting bloc in Colorado," and that the move gives the Democratic party an opportunity -- hard as it may be -- to win that seat in the general election in November.

Sheila MacDonald CBS

"The unaffiliateds are sick of all the infighting," she said. "They're tired of this controversy. They want -- I think everybody wants this -- but more than others, they want a congressperson or a legislator who represents what they care about; affordable housing, jobs, health care."

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