Friday, March 15, 2019

Cory Gardner Loses Denver Post Endorsement

Cory Gardner’s defeat of incumbent Democrat Mark Udall was considered a major upset in 2014. Gardner ran a superb campaign, Udall’s was less so, and 2014 was a good year for Republicans nationally, winning the senate and making Mitch McConnell the Majority Leader.

Still, it was considered a major accomplishment in a state that was clearly drifting to the left.

The salient event that provided major momentum to Gardner and staggered Udall was the Denver Post’s endorsement of Gardner on October 10, 2014 (see my blog “Denver Post Endorsement: Game Changer?" Oct. 14, 2014). You know it was important by the blowback from Democrats, including Gary Hart writing a scathing criticism.

Today, he lost the endorsement. The retraction will be national news. Gardner is considered, along with Susan Collins of Maine, one of the two most vulnerable senators. His latest approval rating is below the national average and much below Senator Collins.

Gardner is a victim of the Trump phenomena. Whatever his preference concerning the President’s obsession with the border wall and his use of an emergency declaration, Gardner has to worry about the Trump base offering a primary or not showing up in November 2020. He has tried to balance loyalty with some independence, for example, opposing the shutdown, but Trump provides new unattractive choices regularly.

The Denver Post just demonstrated how hard finding that balance will be in Colorado in 2020.

The Denver Post: Editorial: Our endorsement of Cory Gardner was a mistake
Morning Consult: America’s Most and Least Popular Senators

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