Poll: Colorado Voters Positively Loathe Cory Gardner

In late October 2017, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) sent out this Tweet about the “Upside Down world” that became a central plot point in the popular Netflix series Stranger Things. Gardner’s comment was an unintentionally-apt description of his own political fortunes; as far as public polling is concerned, Gardner is comfortably ensconced in his own “upside down” world.

For the last year or so, we’ve been following Gardner’s plummeting poll numbers with fascination, wondering when they might possibly bottom-out. Just how low can Gardner go? According to the results of a new poll from the American Politics Research Lab (APRL) at the University of Colorado, we still don’t know the answer to that question.

Polling results from APRL show Gardner with a miserable 25% approval rating, with just 38% of Republicans admitting that they have a favorable opinion of the Republican Senator. For Gardner, the only bright side to these horrific numbers is that they aren’t any worse.

American Politics Research Lab (January 2018)

To understand the gravity of these numbers for Gardner, consider this: Donald Trump is the most disliked President in the history of polling, with an approval rating that averages out to about 39% (via 538.com). If Gardner’s numbers were to somehow rise to this level, his staff would throw a party.

Need more convincing? Check out this Politico story about polling numbers for John Hickenlooper and Mark Udall from December 2013 (Gardner beat Udall in the 2014 Senate race 11 months later):

Voters are almost evenly split on Udall, with 41 percent disapproving of his job as senator compared with 40 percent approving. That’s down from a 50 percent to 33 percent approval in April.

Udall’s numbers likely jumped around a bit in 2014, but from March 2010 through August 2013, the former Democratic Senator was typically polling in the mid-40s and never dropped below 36%. In October 2014, just a few weeks before Election Day, Udall had an approval rating of 45%. As best we can tell, the last time Gardner was polling near that number was in July 2015, when Quinnipiac University listed him with a 48% approval rating.

Poll numbers for politicians will invariably go up and down during their time in office, but it’s really hard to drop as far as Gardner has fallen in the last year.

Gardner endured an absolutely brutal year in 2017, and from the look of things, 2018 isn’t going be be much better. We’ve said before in this space that it is not too early to wonder about Gardner’s political future when his first term expires shortly after the 2020 election. If Gardner can’t figure out a way to improve his image, don’t be surprised if his name isn’t even on the ballot in two years.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:


    Some day they will thank you. Perhaps not any time soon, but stay the course.

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    If you know someone who supports Gardner, have them write to him on a topic of their choice, with one or two questions for the Senator and his staff to answer.

    If the response continues to be what I've experienced, part of the time, they won't get the satisfaction of ANY answer. Nearly all of the rest of the time, they will get a reply, but it won't have anything showing a specific response to the questions.

    In all my writing, I've gotten one response with an accurate response to my question — and I think that was an accident of an overly broad question and a lucky strike in the boilerplate response.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I don't think Moderatus would be willing to send such questions to him.  I can't think of anyone else of whom I am aware still supports Gardner.

      • Voyageur says:

        Define support, RandR.  I don''t endorse his party but he is a decent man and shoulders above the tea party whackos who dominate his party.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          I disagree with him being a decent man although all things are relative and if you put Trent Franks, Roy Moore, and Cory Gardner together, in that trio he is a decent man. But if you placed him with John McCain and John Kasich, I would disagree with you.

          He tows the party line. Maybe he is not as bat-shit crazy as many of his colleague but he enables them.

          And I will never get over how much of a coward he was during his infamous Durango town hall.

        • Mike W. says:

          No decent man would support this administration, let alone work to expand its ability to enact laws.

    • MADCO says:

      In my experience – that's almost always true.

      I got  real response from Senator Wellstone's office.  Coffman, Bennet, Salazar, Ritter, Hick, etc – some were more on topic than form (guess) but none that I would consider responsive.  I stopped writing letters and just started showing up.

      Still not great- I could never write big checks.  But Bennet and Salazar made time to hear me and acknowlege what I was saying.  (Got that once with Bill Bradley too (he would have won, and he wouldda been great.) )


  3. Mike W. says:

    So who sends him back to Yuma? One of the Garnetts? Merrifield, Donovan, Fields? Joe Neguse? Ed? An as-of-yet-to-be-defeated-in-the-primary-Gubernatorial-candidate? We all agree he's full of shit, but who's gonna put their boots on and shovel that shit back to Nebraska.


  4. mamajama55 says:

    Him, too.

    Cory Gardner's teflon coating will wear a little thinner, with the revelation that Steve Wynn, the finance chair of the National Republican Committee, is credibly accused of sexual assault. The Wall St Journal reported (behind a paywall) that a manicurist was forced to have sex with Mr. Wynn after an appointment. She was later paid $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit.

    Cory Gardner is the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which  is related to Wynn's organization, the NRC.  Both men are charged with raising funds to elect Republican candidates, and to maintain Republican control of Congress. The NRC recently postured hypocritically about the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal, pressuring the Democratic National Committee to return any Weinstein contributions.

    So, to save you all from waiting to hear how Cory Gardner will handle these latest allegations about his fellow Republican money man, I will present here Talking Cory :

    "Look, we don't have all the facts yet and while I think sexual assault is a No No we don't know if Mr. Wynn is guilty it's typical of Democrats to make accusations and we need due process if it turns out that Steve did a nasty then I'll be the first to proclaim its awfulness meanwhile be glad women have prosperity and full employment under Donald Trump and our awesome tax plan which will put everyone back to work on their third minimum wage job just to keep the roof on in other great news pink slime is now unregulated food product and has committed to the Republican job creating agenda!! Thank you everyone and I look forward to hearing your thoughts preferably at a safe distance when I can mute your awkward questions over the phone or big bodyguards to escort my constituents out of my town halls…..”


  5. MADCO says:

    No obvious D who can win state wide today.
    In 2 years – a year – ?

    Hick is the obvious choice – won statewide twice.  But… 

    What's Groff been doing? Is he still at Education?
    Is there no west slope D who could get 44% in the Springs?
    No El Paso D who could go 45% in the west slope?

    Oprah.  She has a house in Telluride. She's perfect.

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