U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is probably the most highly effective Republican in Colorado, a fast-talking and fast-rising star inside his celebration, a beacon of sunshine for the political proper on this more and more Democratic state.
John Hickenlooper is Colorado’s best-known Democrat, a well-liked former governor with virtually common title recognition and a unusual persona that has performed properly within the Centennial State for twenty years.
Over the following 4 months, Gardner and Hickenlooper will go blow-for-blow throughout the state within the electoral equal of a heavyweight title battle. Each increase huge quantities of cash and neither has misplaced an election in Colorado, a streak of political perfection that may finish for certainly one of them Nov. 3. Carefully watched right here and in Washington, its one of many few races that may determine which celebration runs the Senate.
Hickenlooper begins the race within the lead — a rarity for a challenger dealing with an incumbent — due to President Donald Trump’s unpopularity in Colorado and the state’s latest Democratic leanings. Polling averages present Hickenlooper started July with a roughly 10 percentage-point head begin.
“There is a strong, strong recognition that Cory Gardner is part of what’s taking this country in the wrong direction,” Hickenlooper mentioned in an interview Tuesday evening, following his main victory.
“Throughout much of the primary campaign, I knew I wanted to unify the party eventually, after the primary. So we focused on Cory Gardner, on why he supports Trump’s lawsuit to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, on how in Colorado 2.4 million people have pre-existing medical conditions and will lose their protections if that lawsuit succeeds,” he added.
Hickenlooper dominated Tuesday’s Democratic main, successful even in ultra-liberal Boulder County, a powerful signal that he can unify his celebration in time for November. Andrew Romanoff, his progressive opponent, has pledged his full help to Hickenlooper and vowed to assist Democrats defeat Gardner any approach he can.
The battle can be over the unaffiliated voters who make up greater than a 3rd of Colorado’s citizens.
Republicans acknowledge that Hickenlooper begins with a bonus however imagine the race will slender considerably as Gardner, a pointy debater and expert orator, bests Hickenlooper on the marketing campaign path. They are saying Hickenlooper enters the race bruised by a nasty June that Gardner won’t let voters neglect about anytime quickly.
“I’m excited to go across the state of Colorado talking about my accomplishments for the state of Colorado,” the Republican senator mentioned in an interview Tuesday evening. “The fact is, the past six years I’ve been a problem solver for this state and will continue to be. We brought the Bureau of Land Management to Colorado, opened up Space Command in Colorado, (passed) historic tax cuts for Colorado, and we’ll continue that progress for the people of Colorado.”
Gardner calls Hickenlooper “the most extreme-left” candidate Colorado Democrats have ever nominated, regardless of Hickenlooper’s popularity inside his personal celebration as a average and even centrist Democrat.
“John Hickenlooper has no ideas of his own, other than Chuck Schumer’s talking points,” Gardner added, referring to the Senate minority chief from New York. “I vote 100% of the time for Colorado, and that is what I’m going to continue to do.”
Gardner’s technique at this stage is twofold: First, deal with coverage achievements throughout his first time period within the Senate, portraying himself as somebody who works for Colorado fairly than Trump or his celebration. And two, paint Hickenlooper as an out-of-touch liberal who hasn’t been upfront about his violations of state ethics legal guidelines.
“If Hickenlooper wants to run a clean race then he should waive the statute of limitations and be honest about his trips on private jets and other ethics violations that were outside the statute of limitations,” Gardner mentioned Tuesday. “Be honest with the people of Colorado. If he wants to be honest, be honest.”
For Hickenlooper, who has historically been a reasonably clear campaigner, the technique is to tout Colorado’s successes when he was governor and tie Gardner to Trump, particularly on the salient problems with well being care and coronavirus response. Hickenlooper laughed loudly Tuesday evening when requested about Gardner’s declare that he’s probably the most corrupt governor within the historical past of Colorado.
“When I ran for mayor, there were eight other people running, and four of them were really talented, had significant constituencies, and, boy, it was bare knuckles and they attacked this and attacked that. I stayed on the issues pretty much the whole time,” Hickenlooper mentioned of his profitable 2003 marketing campaign in Denver.
The Democrat is aware of to anticipate a full vary of criticisms from Gardner and Republicans this yr. He says he’s prepared for all the pieces they’ll throw his approach.
“You can call it both guns blazing. I would say their mud cannon is going to be splurching.”