Sen. Gardner, Trailing Hickenlooper in Colorado, Backs SCOTUS Seat Push

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has backed the push for President Donald Trump's upcoming Supreme Court nominee to be passed by the Senate, a move swiftly pounced upon by his electoral opponent John Hickenlooper.

Gardner released a statement in which he outlined his commitment to voting to confirm should a "qualified nominee" who will "protect our constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law," be put forward.

Trump's move to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with weeks of the election has proved controversial. Democrats argue the decision should be postponed until after the vote, with the victor then being able to put their choice to fill the seat forward. Polling has shown some Republicans share the view that the decision on Ginsberg's successor should be delayed.

Responding to Gardner's statement on backing a candidate he deems suitable, the Democratic candidate for his seat Hickenlooper, former governor of Colorado, said: "Let's vote him out."

He also tweeted "Cory Gardner caved," referring to previous comments in 2016 on the choice of a Supreme Court nominee in which he had said the next president should pick the candidate, as Republicans argued this following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in the February preceding that year's election.

Other Republican senators have similarly faced accusations of hypocrisy over this change in stance.

In a statement, Hickenlooper suggested Gardner was pressured by Trump in regards to his stance.

He said: "In 2016, Senator Gardner set a clear standard that the people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice—but now he broke it to stand with the president at the expense of Colorado, as he's done 100% of the time."

Gardner's comments on the matter, and Hickenlooper's subsequent attack, come as he trails in polls ahead of November.

In a Global Strategy Group poll carried out August 28 to September 1 among 800 respondents, 50 percent said they would vote for Hickenlooper compared to 40 percent who said Gardner.

Another poll, conducted by Fabrizio Ward and Hart Research August 30 to September 5, gave Hickenlooper a slimmer lead of five points, with 51 percent for him compared to 46 percent for Gardner. The poll, conducted among 800 voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent, put Gardner on 51 percent and Hickenlooper on 46.

Polling from Morning Consult, which surveyed 638 likely voters in Colorado between August 21 and August 30, gave Hickenlooper a nine point lead.

Newsweek has contacted Gardner, Hickenlooper and the White House for comment.

gardner
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) speaks with President Donald Trump on stage during a Keep America Great rally on February 20, 2020 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Gardner has said he will support Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court if they are suitably qualified. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
Sen. Gardner, Trailing Hickenlooper in Colorado, Backs SCOTUS Seat Push | Politics