When Cory Gardner ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 he told Coloradans he was a “different kind of Republican.”
Throughout that campaign he also benefitted from TV ads saying his Democratic opponent Mark Udall voted with President Barack Obama “99 percent of the time.” The Atlantic magazine called it Gardner’s “broken record attack line.”
In light of that, this new data point is worth noting:
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 3, 2017
That’s from Nate Silver at the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight where reporters are tracking members of Congress in the era of Donald Trump, tallying up how often they vote with the new president.
Colorado’s Republican U.S. senator, Cory Gardner, currently tops the list for how often a member of Congress “votes in line with Trump’s position.”
A couple caveats here. One, it’s early! Trump has been in office just two weeks. And, yes, a lot has happened in that time including explosive executive orders and controversial cabinet nominees. Members of Congress have also voted on budgetary measures and on rolling back regulations. The second caveat: It’s not like he’s an outlier. In fact, 50 of our 52 U.S. senators have voted with the new president 100 percent of the time. The only two who haven’t are Maine’s Susan Collins and Kentucky’s Rand Paul. Even consistent Trump critics Ben Sasse of Nebraska, John McCain of Arizona, and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham hold 100 percent ratings with Trump’s agenda so far.
But Gardner and Dean Heller of Nevada are the only two senators from states that Democrat Hillary Clinton won who are voting 100 percent with Trump so far, which is why they are on top of FiveThirtyEight’s list.
Colorado’s Democratic U.S. senator, Michael Bennet, sits at 50 percent.
As for methodology, FiveThirtyEight looked at 15 measures and nominations on which the Trump administration has taken a public position.
“The Trump score is a simple percentage showing how often a senator or representative supports Trump’s positions,” the site reports. “To calculate it, we add the member’s ‘yes’ votes on bills that Trump supported and his or her ‘no’ votes on bills that Trump opposed and then divide that by the total number of bills the member has voted on for which we know Trump’s position.”
The 15 issues FiveThirtyEight based its score on include repealing a rule requiring energy companies to reduce waste and emissions; repealing a rule requiring energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments; a budget resolution to repeal the Affordable Care Act; supporting South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for UN ambassador and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State; repealing a rule requiring some federal contractors to report labor violations, and a permanent ban on the use of federal funds for abortion or health coverage that includes abortions, among others. (Click here to see all of them.)
We reached out to a Gardner spokeswoman to see if the office had any context they wanted to add and will update this if and when we hear back.
In the month leading up to the Nov. 8 presidential election, Gardner distanced himself from Trump. In October, he called on the then-Republican presidential nominee to step aside, and Gardner said he would not vote for Trump. More recently he called on Trump to fix what he called an “overly broad executive order” that banned travel to the U.S. by people from some majority-Muslim countries. He also called the Australian ambassador after reports of a controversial phone call between Trump and that country’s prime minister, and he has “joined a bipartisan effort calling for sweeping new sanctions against Russia.”
You can keep an eye on where Gardner stands with Trump’s agenda in the future here.
Photo by Gage Skidmore for Creative Commons on Flickr.