For Now, Gardner (And An Unknown CU Regent) Are The Lone CO Republicans Holding Statewide Office

(This is what a blue wave looks like – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

President Trump (left) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

Yesterday, as Coloradans finished casting a blue wave of ballots that upended state politics, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who along with CU Regent Heidi Ganahl are now the lone Republicans occupying state-wide offices in Colorado, was on the radio talking like a candidate.

That’s what he’ll likely be in 2020, if he defends his seat for the first, and Democrats hope, the last time.

On the radio, Gardner said “there are elements of the radical left who are going to oppose President Trump, no matter how good it is for this country.”

Gardner was trying to find a middle ground on Trump, acknowledging the widespread anger with the president in Colorado, which favored Hillary Clinton by five points, while focusing on economic themes.

GARDNER: And I think there are elements of the radical left who are going to oppose President Trump, no matter how good it is for this country. There are obviously things that we’re going to agree with and disagree with the president on.

But the economy is creating jobs. Money is coming back in, a thousand manufacturing jobs a day added to this country. You’ve got billions of dollars relocating into the United States. Wages are going up. This is incredible.

And you’re exactly right. There are elements of the radical left that are going to vote against that economic growth, vote against that economic opportunity, just because of the sheer blindness of their opposition.

Whether Gardner’s love-some-of-Trump-Hate-some-of-Trump message would work in Colorado in 2020, is obviously unknown today, two years out.

But after this election, you have think this would fail miserably, and Gardner couldn’t win here with Trump on the ticket, especially given that Gardner has been a loyal ninety-one-percent Trump supporter.

And yesterday’s election shows that Republicans nationwide aren’t in the mood to dump the president from the 2020 ballot, meaning he likely isn’t going anywhere and spelling doom for Gardner.

Even if Trump is gone by 2020, the voting pattern in Colorado today looks bad for the first-term senator, as pollsters on both sides of the aisle have been pointing out all week.

Unaffiliated voters, whose numbers are growing here, are critical of the Republican Party. Democrats’ numbers are also growing, and they will likely be voting in full force once again with Trump on the ballot. And with that math, Republicans, even if they vote with more enthusiasm than they did today, can’t compete.

And Colorado’s Republican Party, including Gardner, don’t seem receptive to some of the issues that could swing unaffiliated voters over the the GOP side of the aisle.

As Republican pollster David Flaherty explained in ColoradoPolitics last week:

“Of the issues that are out there, you get the feeling we’re not on the right side of a lot of where a majority of voters think, or how they view problems,” GOP pollster David Flaherty told ColoradoPolitics’ Ernest Luning. “That’s true with climate change and, in Colorado, something as basic as protecting the environment. If you are a Republican, you need to prove to those unaffiliated voters you are pro-environment by having strong positions, not just by mouthing the words.”

It’s the same on the Second Amendment, a core GOP issue, Flaherty said.

“The whole motivation of standing with the Second Amendment — that doesn’t hit home with unaffiliated voters,” he said, noting that unaffiliated voters don’t understand Republican opposition to so-called red-flag bills, which would allow a judge to remove firearms temporarily from someone found to be a risk to him or herself or others. “Republicans are never going to give up that issue.”

Flaherty thinks unaffiliated voters are more in line with Republicans on taxes and spending, which is why Gardner is rushing to move the conversation there.

But Trump’s tax bill, with its massive tax gains for the wealthy, has not fared well in polls either.

And regardless, Gardner’s economic message didn’t do much for Republicans yesterday, perhaps in part because Colorado’s economy, though healthy by some measures, isn’t working for much of the state’s population, who continue to struggle with stagnant wages and economic uncertainty.

So Gardner’s plan of trying to take the middle road on Trump looks perilous.

Maybe Gardner will shift to a more anti-Trump stance, putting him more in line with those he’s now calling the “radical left” or, in another interview, the “loony left.”

Stranger things have happened.

That’s exactly what Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman tried to do. But as of last night, he’s out of office.

Listen to Gardner on KHOW Nov. 6

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Davie says:

    I can see Gardner's campaign issues for 2020:

    1.  Why are corporations disenfranchised?  They should be able to vote and hold office!  Corporations are People, my friend!

    2.  Why are the oppressed minority of wealthy job creators only allowed one vote, as if they were just like any other citizen?  That's not fair!  They should be allowed as many votes as they can afford!

    3.  Speaking of affordable votes, why are Takers allowed to vote, anyway?  Their votes should be subtracted from the totals in payment for what they steal from patriotic Republicans!

    Paid for by Citizens to Bring Back 1776 and Rule by Male White Landowners

  2. deathpigeon says:

    Corey Gardner retire, bitch!

  3. OpenSpace says:

    Cary Kennedy for Senate……

  4. DENependent says:

    Because I am a nerd I saw this headline and immediately needed to know the answer to the question implied by "unknown CU Regent". Heidi Ganahl won the CU Regent At Large race as a Republican in 2016.

    Also, while researching this I noticed that someone has got round to updating the Wikipedia page Political party strength in Colorado which does not have a column for CU Regents. Democratic dominance in Colorado may only be a foot deep, but it is now a mile wide like the South Platte.

  5. RepealAndReplace says:

    Wasn’t Heidi the person who declined Walker Stapleton’s invitation to run for Lt. Gov?

    • DENependent says:

      Indeed. ColoradoPols covered it. She made a good call on that one. She might even be the best hope for Republicans for a statewide race. She is not as rich as Polis, but she could follow a similar path as him. She can even sit out 2020 if it looks bad since her term does not end until 2022.

  6. Unitary Moonbat says:

    Anybody giving odds on how long it will be before Michael "I hate teachers" Johnston announces his candidacy for Gardner's seat?

  7. DENependent says:

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but though the Republicans held all the levers of Government for a while when Owens was Governor they did not sweep the elections for statewide offices. They just got them by Ken Salazar resigning and appointing John Suthers for the remainder of the Owens administration. It looks like no party has won all the executive races, much less legislative control at the same time, since the 1970 election of John Love.

  8. mynameischarlie says:

    One can already see the writing on the wall for Gardner. He was considered the weakest candidate for re-election last year and things aren't going to get better for him with two more years of Trump. I only hope the Dems pick a strong candidate, with a lot of political savvy who can last a lifetime.

  9. ColoGuyinNYC says:

    Those Who Should Run (and will)
    -Ed Perlmutter
    -John Hickenlooper

    Those Who Should Run (but won’t)
    -Kerry Donovan
    -Bill Ritter
    -Betsy Markey

    Those Who Should Not Run (but will)
    -Mike Johnston
    -Crisanta Duran
    -Cary Kennedy
    -Michael Hancock

  10. itlduso says:

    I think Hickenlooper is the strongest candidate to run against the Pepsodent smile.

    And, while we’re at it, Beto O’Rourke lost to Cruz in TX by just 2.7%.  Is that close enough for the three term Congressman to run for President?

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I think Beto says THIS run for Senator went pretty well — he'll take a run for Cornyn's seat. Demographic change, on-going voter registration, more GOTV, and a Presidential election year could be just the ticket — and I don't know of another Democrat in Texas who would be able to stake a better claim to the nomination.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Agreed. And it would be interesting to see what Cornyn does: (1) tack to the middle, (2) double down as a RWNJ, or (3) retire.

        One caveat: Cornyn is a relatively pleasant human being who is not hated like Lying Ted was.

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