Sen. Cory Gardner looking to 2020 election

Gardner looks to appeal to diverse electorate. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Cory Gardner introduces government shutdown legislation
Gardner looks to appeal to diverse electorate.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Sen. Cory Gardner, who is up for re-election in 2020, might have a difficult campaign ahead of him. According to the CU Boulder American Politics Research Lab’s most recent polls from Jan. 26, Gardner only holds on to a 26 percent approval rating among the Colorado consensus. This is down from his 43 percent approval rating in 2016.

Colorado Democratic Party Spokesman David Porshoushtari, claiming Gardner is “out of touch” with the average Coloradan’s wellbeing, said, “Cory Gardner will face the consequences on Election Day 2020.”

The Colorado Democratic Party is already stacked with declared candidates for Gardner’s Senate seat. Former State Sen. and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnson, Former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Andrew Romanoff, and prominent community organizer Lorena Garcia have already declared their intention to run against Gardner in the upcoming election. Other candidates include Derrick Blanton, Dustin Leitzel, Keith Pottratz, and CU Denver professor Trish Zornio. Gardner is currently the sole Republican candidate running as an incumbent for his current seat.

Gardner, as a republican in a liberal-leaning swing state, is trying to address issues in a way that appeal to Coloradans across the political spectrum. On Jan. 24, the senator proposed new legislation to continue to pay federal workers affected by the recent government shutdown. 

Regarding the legislation, Gardner stated, “In the interim, our federal workers should not be deprived of their paychecks. My legislation provides peace of mind for our 800,000 government employees who are struggling to make ends meet.”

However, despite Gardner’s legislation to allow federal workers granted pay during the shutdown and his breaking from President Trump’s wall construction efforts, many Coloradans are still skeptical of Gardner, based on recent polling.

Gardner’s low approval rating, according to 9 News Denver, can be attributed to his most recent claim for support in President Trump’s 2020 re-election efforts. There is also an increasingly shrinking electorate that is loyal to the current GOP, especially after Democratic Party gains in Colorado in 2018. Gardner seems to be surviving in a hostile climate that does not welcome his loyalties.

As for Gardner’s shutdown legislation, it may not be as beneficial as he anticipated. According to our own Karen Breslin, a political science instructor at CU Denver, “Whatever payoff Gardner may expect would likely be minimal and is likely not remarkable enough nor helpful enough to get him re-elected. It’s a standard republican position when Coloradans need something exceptional to win their vote.”

While the 2020 Senate election results are still a matter of speculation, Gardner’s efforts to pass legislation alleviating the burden on federal employees during government shutdowns may not be enough to appeal to Colorado’s increasingly democratic-leaning electorate.

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