It’s Official: Cory Gardner’s Plug Is Being Pulled

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-ekt).

At the end stage of any once-contested political campaign whose outcome has become clear as the season wore on, always a watched-for indicator of fateful decisions being made behind the scenes, is the curtailment of spending in races that national strategists in either party have written off as unwinnable. In races that stay close down to the wire, this may never happen–in 2014, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and GOP gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez kept their races sufficiently close to retain national support more or less all the way through to Election Day. In other cases, such as Andrew Romanoff’s losing bid against then-Rep. Mike Coffman that same year, the pullout of national resources from the race was a very public death knell.

As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports today, the bell now tolls for Sen. Cory Gardner–as his re-election bid against the headwinds of Colorado’s leftward political trend since 2014 and the disaster of Donald Trump’s presidency comes apart in the final weeks:

Faced with a consistent stream of polls showing U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner headed for a loss next month, national Republican groups are spending far less in Colorado than in other battleground states this fall.

“There is no reason for either side to put another dime into this state. It’s over,” [Pols emphasis] said David Flaherty, a Republican pollster in Colorado who predicts “historic” losses for his party Nov. 3…

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which Gardner led two years ago, has spent $145,000 in Colorado in the first half of October, according to a Denver Post review of campaign finance filings through Wednesday. That is far less than in the other five states the NRSC has focused on: Iowa ($3.2 million), Michigan ($3.2 million), Montana ($2.2 million), Maine ($2.2 million) and Arizona ($1.7 million).

We’ve taken note as large media buys by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and key Republican Senate leadership PACs have notably either excluded Colorado or been made in far smaller amounts than spending elsewhere, even in considerably less expensive media markets. After Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper posted a record-shattering $22 million take for the third quarter, Gardner responded yesterday with a Q3 total take of under $8 million–which admittedly would have been a record itself were it not less than half what Hickenlooper brought in.

A combination of factors made this decision by Republicans to cut Gardner loose inevitable: stabilization of polling in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race at a double digit lead for Hickenlooper, the increasingly lopsided fundraising disparity in the race, and above all an urgent need to defend Republicans in a growing number of states as the defeat Trump is about to gift the Republican Party on his own way out starts to look more like an historic rout. It’s simple arithmetic based on the electorates in these other states: when Republicans are fighting to save Joni Ernst in Iowa and Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, it means Cory Gardner in Colorado is already done.

Even Dick Wadhams, former Colorado GOP chairman and longtime “itinerant political hitman” who has weighed in forcefully on Gardner’s behalf this election season, conceded the bleak reality to Wingerter in this story:

“Cory’s problem is not that he does not have enough money in his account or that there’s not enough spending on that side. Cory’s biggest problem right now is the national political environment, and that has been driven by President Trump’s numbers against Joe Biden,” Wadhams said. “I’m not sure any money can offset that right now.” [Pols emphasis]

We told you it was coming, folks. To quote the President of the United States, “it is what it is.”

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    Are they also pulling the plug on that nasty Martha McSally?

  2. unnamed says:

    Nutlid.  Your hero needs you now to come here and save him the time of responding to this post!!!!!

    Where are you, buddy?

  3. davebarnes says:


    You misspelled Dickwad Hams name again.

  4. RepealAndReplace says:

    Does Cory have any job interviews on K St. lined up yet?

    He can always follow the example of Shorter Coffman following defeat:  come home and run for mayor.

    Yuma beckons you, Senator!

    • kwtree says:

      Ummmm…they don't really like him that much in Yuma, from what I hear. He can't go out to eat or shop without being confronted by angry constituents (from the right and the left), and his schtick of vomiting out a bunch of word salad and grinning like a fool is getting old.

      His family is well respected; he is not.

      • libdujour says:

        Being from down that way, you are 100% correct. He’s done as a senator, but in as a Koch Bros tool

        • MichaelBowman says:

          One thing (of many) that is still sticking in a few craws is he wouldn’t publicly support Yuma’s last school bond ballot question (it lost narrowly).  He was so scared of the TeaBillies that he didn’t want to appear to be favoring a ‘tax increase’.  

          • libdujour says:

            Wonder if that small tax increase for SCHOOLS haunts him now. Nah. If he couldn’t support his own community, he couldn’t (and hasn’t) supported the state. He’s been in hiding for 4 years as it is. Maybe he and his stooge prez can start a Tiny Hands club🤣 since they’ll both be back on the streets soon

  5. JohnInDenver says:

    Hard to believe that Senator Martha is considered a better investment than Senator Cory…. and spending $3.2 million in Michigan trying to unseat an incumbent who is up by 8% in the CIVIQs aggregation (and only 9% undecided) makes so little sense to me.

    My speculation — Arizona and Michigan have much, MUCH bigger contributors to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and they "encouraged" the continued spending.

  6. libdujour says:

    MAGA is happening!! We’re shedding toxicity finally. I believe Election Night is going to deliver more Democratic Senators than we even realize 

    • Duke Cox says:

      👍 I hope you are right. I read an opinion pc. somewhere that counts 10 senate seats that could change. But, honestly, it is almost completely unpredictable at this point.

    • MADCO says:

      I'd settle for 4 this time, a few next time and a few more the cycle after.

      • Voyageur says:

        I won't be content until we have 70 — enough, with a couple dissenters, to impeach Fascists on the court, starting with Alito and Thomas.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Why didn't the House Judiciary Committee ever open a credible investigation into the sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh? Nadler could have called the women whom the Senate Judiciary Committee refused to call so that the women besides Blaise Ford could have been heard.

          Depending on whether the committee deemed the stuff credible, they could have moved on to an impeachment resolution. Which could have been justified on the basis that the Senate to do its job in properly vetting the nomination.

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