Colorado doesn’t appear to be a presidential swing state in 2020. That could spell big trouble for Cory Gardner. |

Colorado doesn’t appear to be a presidential swing state in 2020. That could spell big trouble for Cory Gardner.

Republicans say Donald Trump needs to keep the race fairly close in Colorado in order to give Gardner a chance at reelection. But with the president’s polling slipping across the country they are worried the state won’t get enough attention.

Jesse Paul / Colorado Sun
President Donald Trump listens as Cory Gardner speaks during a campaign rally at the World Arena in Colorado Springs Thursday, February 20, 2020.
Mark Reis / Special to Colorado Sun

Republicans in Colorado are becoming increasingly nervous about U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s reelection odds as President Donald Trump’s poll numbers crater in the state and across the nation

That’s because Gardner’s reelection strategy hinges on his ability to win support from voters unwilling to back the president but who are enamored enough with the Republican senator’s record to give him a second term. And the worse Trump does in the state, the harder that becomes. 

An average of the latest public polling in Colorado shows Trump down by 14.5 percentage points to former Vice President Joe Biden, according to the political data site FiveThirtyEight. Republican operatives say that margin is far too large for Gardner to bridge with so-called split-ticket voters who back both him and Biden. 

Anything more than a 10 percentage point split between Trump and Biden could spell disaster.

“Jesus Christ himself couldn’t overperform Trump by double digits,” said Tyler Sandberg, a Republican operative.

But the Trump campaign isn’t investing in Colorado. Unlike in other states, Trump hasn’t reserved television ad time, according to a Colorado Sun analysis of Federal Communications Commission records. Major national groups that are backing the president’s reelection bid haven’t opened their purse strings for Colorado either. 

It’s a sign that Colorado has lost its status as a presidential battleground state. And with Trump’s campaign needing to direct resources to shore up support in other parts of the country, there are Republican anxieties about whether Trump will be willing or able to spend in Colorado to close the gap enough to give Gardner a chance. 

Other down-ballot Republicans also could suffer if the Trump campaign can’t keep the election in Colorado within striking distance, leading to another difficult election year after the disastrous 2018 cycle.

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.

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