Western Values Project today released new statewide polling highlighting Colorado voters’ strong opposition to Senator Cory Gardner voting to confirm David Bernhardt as the next Interior Secretary. Key findings from the polling show that Coloradans have clear concerns about confirming Bernhardt, which deepen the more they hear, and that Sen. Gardner risks losing his constituents’ support by voting to confirm Bernhardt.
Heading into the Senate confirmation process for acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Coloradans widely disapprove of the Interior Department’s agenda and have concerns about confirming Bernhardt to lead the agency. After hearing a series of messages against Bernhardt’s confirmation, Coloradans oppose Bernhardt’s confirmation by nearly two-to-one (29% support/57% oppose).
Coloradans also have mixed feelings about Cory Gardner, and messages from opponents of Bernhardt’s confirmation move Coloradans to oppose both Bernhardt’s confirmation and Gardner’s re-election should he vote to confirm him. Such a vote by Gardner would exacerbate his existing vulnerabilities. After hearing from opponents of Bernhardt’s confirmation, wide majorities of Coloradans say they would feel unfavorably about Gardner (28% favorable/60% unfavorable).
“David Bernhardt has proven to be the poster child of the very swamp President Trump promised to drain,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project. “He’s spent the past two years at Interior doing the bidding of corporate lobbyists and special interests, and we can expect that to continue should he be confirmed as Interior Secretary. It’s clear that Sen. Gardner’s constituents are concerned about Bernhardt’s anti-public lands actions that threaten protected land in the state, and by Bernhardt’s lobbyist past. He should listen to his constituents and vote against his nomination.”
The poll also shows how widely unpopular the Department of Interior’s agenda under Bernhardt is in Colorado. By wide margins, Coloradans disapprove of weakening protections for threatened species and changes to the Endangered Species Act (71% disapprove, 59% strongly), shrinking national monument protections for industrial oil and gas and mining development (69% disapprove, 58% strongly), and expediting approval and permitting of oil and gas drilling in previously protected wildlife habitat (67% disapprove, 55% strongly).
Global Strategy Group conducted a survey of 602 likely 2020 general election voters in Colorado from March 13 to 17, 2019. The results of this survey have a margin of error of +/-4.0%