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If John Hickenlooper runs for Senate, Republican Cory Gardner could be in trouble



If John Hickenlooper runs for Senate Republican Cory Gardner could be in trouble

One of the big storylines going into the 2020 election is whether or not the GOP can retain control of the Senate and therefore control over the confirmation process for the judiciary. It’s arguably the most important exclusive role of the Senate, giving the upper chamber power over who will sit on the various benches, including the Supreme Court. The power of nomination may lie with the President, but he’ll need the Senate to approve his nominations.

In the past, this has meant a lot of give and take whenever the two major parties split control between the Senate and the White House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell famously refused to even consider President Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, citing the need to let the people vote first in the 2016 election. The close proximity of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death to the 2016 presidential election meant McConnell didn’t have to stall for very long.

If Democrats controlled the Senate at the time, either Garland or someone even more progressive would have sailed through before election day.

John Hickenlooper, the former Colorado Governor who is having a difficult time getting any traction for the Democratic nomination, is expected to end his bid on Thursday. When he does, it’s also expected he will announce a run for Senator Cory Gardner’s seat. Early polls for the hypothetical matchup greatly favor Hickenlooper, meaning a Republican-controlled seat could be flipped in 2020.

So much attention is going to be paid to the President’s reelection campaign, but it’s quite possible the House and Senate races will be neglected. They mustn’t. Without the Senate, the President’s nominees will not be confirmed.

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