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May 19, 2014 06:25 AM MDT

Only Doug Lamborn is More Partisan than Cory Gardner

  • by: Colorado Pols

Cory Gardner and Doug Lamborn There has been a lot of talk over the last week or so about Republican concerns that Tom Tancredo might poison the entire 2014 election should he emerge victorious from the June gubernatorial Primary. We won't deny that the GOP faces plenty of problems with a Tancredo candidacy, although the entire argument seems a bit silly in our opinion given the other candidates running in the Republican Primary; option #2 appears to be Bob Beauprez, whose 2006 campaign for Governor is viewed as the worst statewide campaign in Colorado history.

Former Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams has been among the loudest voices warning of a Tancredo candidacy, sounding false alarm bells dating back more than a year (we continue to be amused that anyone listens to Wadhams anymore, but that's a different story for a different day). Wadhams is a strong supporter of Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner, but as he told the Boulder Daily Camera in a story over the weekend, both Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman are doomed if Tancredo is the GOP nominee for Governor:

"If Tancredo is the nominee, everyone from (U.S. Senate candidate Cory) Gardner and (U.S. Rep. Mike) Coffman and up and down the ticket go down in November," warned Wadhams, who is supporting Kopp. "There's much at stake here."

That seems a bit melodramatic to us, but how much truth is involved in this fear of Tancredo? If we've learned anything from Colorado politics in the last decade, it is that the more moderate candidate will always win a high-profile statewide race. From Ken Salazar in 2004, to Bill Ritter in 2006 and Mark Udall in 2008 (and John Hickenlooper in 2010, although a doorknob would have beaten Dan Maes), the more partisan you are perceived to be by voters, the less likely you are to win in November. With that in mind, we combed through the annual partisanship rankings of Congress provided each year by The National Journal, and we were a bit surprised at what we found:

The biggest threat to the Republican ticket in 2014 may actually be Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner and Tom Tancredo
Perhaps Tom Tancredo should be concerned about Cory Gardner instead.

You may have seen references to the fact that Gardner was the 10th most-partisan Member of Congress in 2012 — more partisan, even, than conservative stalwarts such as Reps. Michele Bachmann and Steve King — but the numbers tell an even more incredible tale. As you can see from the chart above, only Rep. Doug Lamborn has a more partisan record in Congress among Colorado's delegation in the past decade, and he represents a heavily-Republican district in CD-5.

If you remove Lamborn and Rep. Diana DeGette from the list (since DeGette's CD-1 is a heavily-Democratic district), you find that Gardner stands alone as the most partisan Member of Colorado's Congressional delegation since at least 2002 (when redistricting awarded Colorado a 7th seat in Congress).

As of now, Republicans appear likely to have both Tancredo and Gardner at the top of the ticket in November. Tancredo is certainly problematic for Republicans, but it may well turn out that Gardner ends up being just as harmful (if not more) as voters continue to learn about his record.

If nothing else, Gardner's heavily-partisan record should allow Sen. Mark Udall ample space to occupy the center leading into November, which is an incredible advantage for Democrats…and, perhaps, a huge roadblock for someone like Tom Tancredo.




35 thoughts on “Only Doug Lamborn is More Partisan than Cory Gardner

  1. Udall votes with the Dems 99% in 2014.  No story.

    Gardner votes with the R's 94% in 2012.  Man is he partisan.

    Colo Pols, just makin' stuff up again.

  2. Huh? Did you find a Delorean to take you to the future?

    There is no National Journal ranking for 2014 because it's only May. And those numbers in the charts above aren't ours — we don't rank Members of Congress.

      1. Pols, your article was about partisanship.

        As the voting record demonstrates Udall is more partisan than Gardner.

        Is Udall the most liberal member of the Senate? 

        He is not.

        Is Gardner the most conservative member of the House?

        He is not.

        Does Udall vote more with what his party boses want than Gardner votes against them?

        That is a fact.


        1. Ha ha ha ha. Turd's trying to make an argument that has something to do with 'facts' and 'truthfulness'?  Ha Ha Ha Ha. Oh my.  Sorry BlueCat but that's rich.  

          1. I know. Sometimes it's just irresistible. That's probably the single stupidest cop out comment (the one you responded to) I've ever read on this site. You think we could collectively cut our troll feeding by 90%?

        2. Does Udall vote more with what his party boses want than Gardner votes against them?

          That is a fact.

          Um, actually, it’s a question. A fact would be some table of recorded vote tallies that purports to show “votes in line with what party bosses want” with tallies for Udall and Gardner.

              1. Wow — the Koch trolls are going wild on this thread! Nerve deeply and definitely struck, Pols!

                I wonder who the hell these right-wing bozos think they're kidding, or who the hell they think they're going to sway with their sewage?

                1. I wonder who the hell these right-wing bozos think they're kidding

                  Thinking isn't their strong suit, DP. They (our troll community) are those types who are so narcissistic and obtuse, they believe they are smarter than the rest of us and their imaginations tell them they are really getting one over on us.

                  Not being a clinical psychologist, I won't venture a diagnosis. But I do recognize "fucking nuts" when I see it…

        3. If partisanship is the distance away from a theoretical middle, Gardner is indeed further away from that center than is Udall.

          From DW-Nominate data for the 112th Congress…

          With a score of 0.0 being balanced between liberal and conservative viewpoints, -1.0 being 100% liberal and 1.0 being 100% conservative and looking at both House and Senate:

          * If non-partisan is the midpoint between the two parties' most moderate members, then "non-partisan" for the 112th Congress is at 0.05 ( a slight center-right tilt). (FYI, these two party members were Senators Ben Nelson and Olympia Snowe. With Nelson having retired, this number probably shifts a bit to the left, as Rep. Doug Schuler is slightly to the left of Nelson.)

          * Udall, according to VoteView, was the 16th most liberal Senator in the 112th Congress, with a DW-NOMINATE score of -0.393. If you re-center him on the midpoint, he is at -0.443.

          * Gardner only ranks as the 87th most conservative House member in the 112th, but his DW-NOMINATE score is 0.536. Adjusting to that "non-partisan" midpoint, he scores 0.486.

          That makes Gardner more partisan – i.e. more likely to hold views further away from the non-partisan "center" – than Udall.

          1. BTW, in theory you shouldn't be adjusting these values to fake a common midpoint, but an abstract scale like DW-NOMINATE makes it hard to argue that its center is "non-partisan". But it's easy to make a sensible (if slightly incorrect) non-partisan midpoint out of Sen. Nelson's -0.035 score and Sen. Snowe's 0.085.

    1. In 2013, Congressional Quarterly reports Mark Udall voted for the position taken by the Obama administration in pending legislation 99% of the time and against the position taken by the Obama administration just 1% of the time.

      In 2013, Congressional Quarterly reports that Cory Gardner voted against the position taken by the Obama administration in pending legislation 88% of the time and in favor of the position taken by the Obama adminstration 12% of the time.

      The voting record show Udall to be more partisan than Gardner.

      1. As your "contributions" here are quite predictable, I am sure whatever you are peddling above is half of the story or some sort of ridiculous distortion of the truth, so I am going to punt here, not read whatever shit you posted, and just call you A FUCKING LIAR !

        Have a nice day though.

      2. Remember, AC, partisanship is only bad when it's Republican partisanship. Democrats can do not wrong, therefore Democrat partisanship is to be rewarded.

        You need to understand the mind of statists. All is not equal to them.

      3. Acutally, you've failed to support the implication you're trying to demonstrate.  You're implying that Udall serves his "masters" more than Gardner.  To do that you need to provide a chart of Gardner's votes according to what his "masters" desired. If Republicans as a group voted with the President 12% of the time because they agreed with his policy and 88% voted against him because they didn't, for example, Cory would have a perfect 100% partisan voting record– "worse" in your estimation than Udall's.

      4. Voting agreement with the President does not show partisanship, it shows party unity. And in order to compare party unity, you need to compare the average party member's vote to each individual. Since we don't have that here, let's try and get at the truth your way – by comparing votes that agreed with the President.

        Of course Republicans have to vote more with Democratic President Obama than Democrats have to vote against him – that is the nature of making law. The President has to sign laws, which means that if Republicans want a single law passed they have to vote in line with the President at some point. This means things as large as the country's financial plans all the way down to post office namings.

        The House had 1602 roll call votes in the 112th Congress. Gardner only had to vote 'Aye' on 192 of those bills in order to hit 88% "disagreement" with the President. In support of this idea, there are precisely 192 House roll call votes where 20 or fewer members of the House voted 'Nay' (along with another two dozen with fewer than 50 House members dissenting). Based on this, it would seem that Gardner is in line with his party almost 100%.

  3. Scott Gessler has been the voice of moderation in the GOP primary, in marked contrast to Tancredo and Beauprez. Gessler is the best choice for Gardner and the GOP as a whole.

      1. Democrats are just mad that they've spent years trying to mud up Gessler, and nothing works. The base loves him and he is the better candidate. In June AND November.

  4. Almost all congresspersons vote with their leadership a very high percentage of the time.  Thus, arguing over whether a particular congressperson is more or less partisan based on 94%, or 96%, or 99% voting with leadership is stupid.  It's just noise.



    1. Old Time Dem has it right. The bickering about who votes with their party is not as relevant as what the actual issues are, and what votes are being cast by Udall and Gardner. Gardner has consistently been voting with the radical Republican agenda in the House for his two terms.  He voted for Rep. Steve King's bill to deport the DREAMers, he voted for Paul Ryan's far right agenda to end Medicare in 2011 and supported privatization of Social Security and Medicare, he voted over 50 times to overturn the ACA, and he voted to cut 6 billion dollars from Pell grants which hurts young Americans access to higher education. These are just a few of Gardner's votes that support the agenda of the far right in the House. He better hope the House doesn't vote on personhood, as he is still a co-sponsor of the federal legislation. If you like the Republican radical agenda, then Gardner is your guy. If you support a moderate approach to solving the problems of our country, which includes helping the poor and the middle class improve their standard of living, then Udall is your guy.  It is actually fairly simple.  Udall is about cooperation, reaching across the aisle and finding solutions to very real and complicated issues that effect a majority of Coloradans.  

      1. Exactly. It's because people, you know, are for or against stuff and it's no wonder they identify with the party that most often is for or against the same stuff they are.

  5. Behind a nice smile and a friendly manner Cory Gardner is an extremist who will say or do anything. Mark Udall will win because Coloradoans ellect leaders — not panderers. 

    1. I strongly support Udall over Gardner but am a little concerned that that nice smile and friendly manner, with gazillions of Koch money behind them, might carry the day. The Dems need to let everyone realize, early and often, how incredibly radical Cory Gardner really is.

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