Donald Trump is Death for Colorado Republicans

Sen. Cory Gardner (right) waves to crowd behind President Trump ahead of a campaign event in West Virginia (Aug. 21, 2018)

The Washington Post has an interesting story up today about the drag of President Trump on Republicans in 2018 and 2020. The gist of the story, which features Colorado as a prominent example, is that 2018 proved Trump to be helpful to Republicans in states where people already liked Trump, but a real problem everywhere else:

“Trump just overwhelms and takes all of the oxygen out of the room and it’s all focused on him,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), [Pols emphasis] a critic of the president who declined to run for reelection…

…Republicans in rural parts of Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee were newly excited about the election, according to Democratic polling in those races, increasingly favorable toward the president and cheered by the recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. In suburban, wealthier parts of the country such as Northern Virginia, the opposite was happening, as moderates recoiled…

…Strategists from both parties say the president, in effect, erected a wall that broke the blue wave, allowing Republicans to hold onto key House seats and defeat Democratic Senate incumbents in conservative Missouri, Indiana and North Dakota. The same strategy, however, empowered Democrats to win decisive victories in formerly Republican suburbs in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, California and the otherwise reliably red state of Texas.

Trump’s late campaigning may have saved Republican candidates in states like Florida, where the GOP narrowly won contests for U.S. Senate and Governor. But Florida is also a state that Trump won in 2016 (albeit narrowly). In states like Colorado, where Trump lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton, the outcome was much different:

“It was very difficult to try to make a case — particularly to suburban, college-educated women who were so upset with the president — to vote for me when they felt there needed to be a greater check on his power,” said Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), who lost his suburban Denver district by more than 11 points after winning by 8 points in 2016.

Coffman’s experience was certainly not unique. Republican-leaning outfit Magellan Strategies found Trump to be quite the albatross for the the GOP in 2018. From Denver7:

Thirty-four percent of respondents said they were less likely to vote for a Republican candidate in the election because of Trump’s influence, and Trump’s approval rating is far underwater among Colorado’s unaffiliated voters: His approval rating is 31 percent among the group, while 62 percent said they disapproved of the job he is doing as president and 48 percent said they strongly disapproved.

Flaherty said in his analysis those numbers made Trump’s overall approval rating “toxic” and that “it is quite clear that any association with Donald Trump and his policies harmed Republican candidates in most parts of Colorado” in this year’s election.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), the 2018 chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) added his “no shit, Sherlock” analysis in a comment to the Washington Post:

“The states where we saw the most success with the rallies were states where he won by 20 points or 30 points or 40 points,” said Gardner.

Colorado, of course, is not one of those states. It is clear that Trump was a mighty albatross for Colorado Republicans in 2018, and with his name on the ballot again in 2020, the impact may be even worse.

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  1. DENependent says:

    Will Trump run in 2020? I think it possible that he might decide that he should say that he accomplished everything he needed to do and not run for reelection. Not because he wants to help Republicans, but because he does not want to do the work.

    He is making all the moves to run, but changing his mind at the last minute would not be out of character for him.

    • deathpigeon says:

      Yes. Obviously. If there's one thing Trump really, truly loves about politics, it's running for office.

      • Mike W. says:

        I won't be completely surprised if he "runs" all the way up to August then bows out at the last possible second. Screwing over the GOP and leaving a brokered convention would be just about the most Trump thing he could possibly do.

        • DENependent says:

          Another situation I think is possible given his character would be to anoint some perfect apprentice. He will choose in the most dramatic way possible with a sort of open casting call, flirt with one, say he is running, then pull out to back his new guy. Then he will proceed to jog the elbow of his guy over and over again to the point where he either loses the nomination or the general election. Then blame the apprentice for the loss.

        • deathpigeon says:

          What, and admit he can't cut it? Trump has backed himself into a corner where he has to run and he has to try to win, no matter how much he might hate his job.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Chris Wallace on Fox felt it necessary to ask Trump if he will try for a constitutional amendment to allow him to run for a third term in 2024.

      uncharacteristically, Trump demurred, but now that the seed has been planted… 😠 

    • Genghis says:

      Trump will definitely run in 2020, provided he survives that long. Failure to survive could take the form of: (1) enough illegal shit comes to light that it effectively ends him politically, which is unlikely given the fervor of Trumplings and the willingness of relatively normal non-Trumpling Republicans to put up with Trumpian lunacy in the interest of fucking over women and dark-skinned folk; or (2) being a Big Mac or two away from a massive myocardial infarction, which is unlikely since we don't have that kind of luck.

      Trump 2020 will go a long way toward revealing how potent a force reactionary white nationalism is. I'd like to believe that unhinged, shrieking, indignant rants like we've seen in recent times from Brett Kavanaugh and Rick Scott are the early death throes of white male ascendancy, but we'll see.

    • The realistThe realist says:

      He started fundraising for 2020 soon after the 2016 election. Those campaign funds provide an immense slush fund for him which he's already accessing to benefit his privately-owned properties. It's all about the money and the power.

      I used to think he might quit when he realized how much he doesn't like the work. But no, he'll hang in as long as he can BECAUSE of the fundraising he can do and because of the power – to expand on his authoritarian rule, and hurt the ones he hates. It's not hard work for him when most of every day is "executive time" – toilet tweeting and watching Fox.

  2. unnamed says:

    Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), the 2018 chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) added his “no shit, Sherlock” analysis

     

    That's different from Cory saying that he didn't see a blue wave hit Colorado this year.

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