|Sen. Cory Gardner, R-CO, joined by (L to R) Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY, |
Sen. John Thune, R-SD, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of KY,
at a news conference on Capitol Hill, May 16, 2017 |J. Scott Applewhite/AP
As a senator in a swing state, he was never going to find a popular position on repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Polling shows more than 80 percent of Republican voters want it repealed, but as Obamacare became more subject to repeal, it became more popular with the general population.
Gardner is not up until 2020 (the Trump re-election year), but his reputation for thoughtful, somewhat independent and candid positions has been damaged. Like his colleagues, he’s now trying to determine what’s next. It is not apparent how the major divisions in the party come together in a strategy.