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Cory Gardner and the Toxic Republican Party

This is what "Party Over Country" looks like.
September 5, 2020
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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12: U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) speaks to reporters about the Alabama Senate race, during a news conference on Capitol Hill, December 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. At left is Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and at right is Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

1. Cory Gardner

Very quickly: If you haven’t, you should read Charlie’s excellent piece on Trump and Jeffrey Goldberg’s story in the Atlantic.

I don’t have anything to add except for a sincere question for the people defending Trump today by insisting that the entire story is made-up and absolutely not true:

If we proved to your satisfaction that the accounts in Goldberg’s story were true, would you vote for Joe Biden?

That’s what I thought.

Anyway, what I want to talk about is Cory Gardner and the Republican party.

There’s new polling out today which suggests that Gardner isn’t just toast: The toast is on fire, the fire has turned the toast to charred carbon, and the remains of the toast have been shot into the sun and reduced to their component atoms.

Have a look at the numbers.

Gardner is an incumbent senator in a purple state and he’s polling at 39 percent among likely voters.

39 FORKING PERCENT.

How is that even possible? Here’s how: He’s getting a 88 percent of Republicans, 0 percent of Democrats—not a typo—and among independents?

54 percent to 25 percent.

As an electoral matter, this represents catastrophic failure for a campaign. There is no coming back from it. There is no turning things around. And this poll was not a one-off.

What’s more, Gardner is running behind Trump in a state that Trump is going to lose.

And yet, Gardner remains almost wholly beholden to Trump.

Why is that?

Gardner doesn’t actually like Trump. He understands who and what Trump is. That’s why he left the 2016 RNC after one day. That’s why he called on Trump to drop out of the race after the Access Hollywood tape. That’s why he wrote in Mike Pence rather than vote for Trump in 2016.

Gardner accommodated himself to Trump once Trump became president, but that’s what most people do to power. And more than that, Gardner isn’t just “most people.” He’s a political animal who had to be on the right side of Trump if he had any chance of a future career in politics.