CO-Sen: “Never Trump” GOPer Cory Gardner (R) Endorses Trump For Re-Election

Here’s the latest news out of Colorado:

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who has been walking a fine line in trying to appeal both to Colorado’s unaffiliated voters and the Republican base as he faces a tough 2020 re-election campaign, took a turn toward the base with his latest comments.

“I know what Kamala Harris and I know what Bernie Sanders will do to Colorado, and that’s why I’ll be supporting the president,” Gardner told the Independent Journal Review this week, referring to two presumptive front-runners for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Gardner’s relationship with Trump has been complicated. In 2016, he called for the GOP nominee to step aside after the release of a video in which Trump bragged about sexually harassing women.

Since Trump won the election, Gardner has been cautious with his words, stopping short of a ringing endorsement. He usually says he’s with Trump on some issues, and not on others. He reiterated that line to the Journal Review. According to the political news website FiveThirtyEight, he has voted with Trump about 90 percent of the time.

Here’s why that’s a big deal:

Why it matters: Gardner, a “Never Trump” Republican who opposed Trump in 2016, is one of the most vulnerable senators up for re-election in 2020 in a state carried by both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Maine Sen. Susan Collins, another vulnerable Republican who cast the decisive vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last year, told IJR she's not ready to say whether she will endorse Trump.

Gardner just committed political suicide doing this because Trump is really hated in Colorado:

Trump received blame for the monthlong shutdown from 53 percent of respondents and congressional Democrats were blamed by 33 percent, according to Keating Research, which is based in Telluride. Both got the blame from 11 percent. The polling firm surveyed 500 active Colorado voters between Jan. 20 and 24, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

“The shutdown news from Colorado couldn’t be more clear,” said Chris Keating of Keating Research in a statement. “Voters here put the blame for the longest shutdown of the federal government in U.S. history on Donald Trump, and a strong majority are opposed to his plans for a wall.”

Trump’s plan for a wall on the Mexican border received 38 percent support, while 53 percent opposed the idea.

Trump and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a fellow Republican, saw little movement in their favorability ratings among Colorado voters, with 39 percent viewing each of them favorably. Gardner had a 43 percent unfavorable result, while Trump was at 60 percent unfavorable.  

Democrats are lining up and getting ready to take down Colorado. Stay tuned.