Alvina Vasquez writing at the Huffington Post on a new Public Policy Polling survey of Colorado voters, with numbers that should make even the most indestructibly overconfident Cory Gardner smile fade to nervousness:
Public Policy Polling conducted 3 polls on the Senate’s health care repeal in states of 3 Senators up for re-election in 2020 – Colorado, North Carolina and Iowa…
Despite the varying situations in each state, one thing is clear from the polling: voters overwhelmingly reject the Senate’s health care repeal legislation — by nearly 2-to-1 margin or more in each state.
COLORADO. Voters disapprove of health care repeal by 33 points (26%-59%) and that expands to 45 points among Independents (21%-66%). In fact, the bill only reaches 50% with Republicans.
…Voters want Congress to move on. Even in states that Trump won or places where the incumbent Senator is ahead in re-election, by double-digit margins, voters in all three states want their Senator to return to Washington after this recess and work to fix the Affordable Care Act rather than continue trying to repeal it.
COLORADO. By 23 points (59%-36%) voters want to fix instead of repeal, expanding to 34 points among Independents (64%-30%).
Looking at the full survey from PPP, we see President Donald Trump’s approval holding steady at around 40%, roughly consistent with his numbers relative to a common baseline from other recent polling in our state. In this poll the big move is against Gardner, who nets a shockingly low 27% approval–only getting to 50% with self-identified Trump voters, and distantly underwater with everyone else. We’d like to see additional corroboration, but if accurate these numbers represent the biggest crisis of Gardner’s political career so far.
It’s obvious that the ongoing campaign by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has surged to its highest level of support since passage while under threat of repeal, has seriously damaged Gardner’s approval in Colorado. But it’s more than just alienation of the law’s supporters showing up in these numbers. To get to only 27% approval, Gardner has to be bleeding support from the right as well–in all likelihood over the same chaos on health reform that’s outraging the left. Gardner has promised both to protect the people who have benefited from Obamacare and to destroy Obamacare, and the GOP’s present inability to do either of those things leaves Gardner with no way to make anyone happy. And that, in short, is how Gardner drops from 37% to 27% approval in two months.
All of which could have been, and indeed was, predicted. Gardner made the repeal of Obamacare the centerpiece of his political platform, and won votes with the promise to both do away with what he claimed was broken and to provide something better.
Now, the failure to accomplish either goal is all Gardner has to talk about.