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Time to Rally Around the Winners

After many months of hard politicking for success in Tuesday's primaries in Colorado, Connecticut and Georgia those who came up short in the eyes of the voters are now coalescing behind the candidates who won.

With only 84 days to go until the November election Democrats in Colorado and Republicans in Georgia in Connecticut appear well on their way to bridging their past disagreements and avoiding the crippling post-primary sniping that can lead to political doom.

"This of course is not quite the result we were hoping for," Colorado's Andrew Romanoff said Tuesday night after coming up short in his bid to take the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. "I realize this is not what you wanted to hear, and certainly not what I had hoped to see, but it is important to me, important to our party, important to our cause, that we offer our full unequivocal support to the Democratic nominee."

That support is undoubtedly welcome to Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO, who won the contest with 54% of the vote and will now face Republican Ken Buck in November.

In Georgia, a very close primary to get the Republican line on the November ballot ended Wednesday when Karen Handel conceded to former Congressman Nathan Deal. Handel said the tightness of the race (less than 1% difference) allows her to ask for a recount but says the best thing for the party is to rally around Deal.

"I spoke with Nathan this morning and let him know that I endorse his candidacy and look forward to the fight against [Democratic nominee] Roy Barnes," Handel said in a statement Wednesday. "I have also called on all who were supporting me to give their same commitment and energy to Nathan."

Deal issued his own statement praising Handel for her support. "I'm extremely grateful to Secretary Handel for her graciousness," Deal said. "Secretary Handel has served our state with honor and distinction. She's a tenacious campaigner, so it's a relief to have her running with me."

Republican unity in Connecticut isn't as heartfelt. In his Tuesday concession speech Rob Simmons said the latest polls showed him to be a viable contender against the Democratic nominee, Richard Blumenthal. "But those numbers don't count unless you win the primary, and the primary is tonight, and the numbers are not trending in our direction tonight," Simmons said, "so I have called Mrs. [Linda] McMahon on the phone, and I have conceded the race to her and I've congratulated her team and her for her great victory, and I have pledged my support for them in the coming months."