Quinnipiac recently released a poll showing Cory Gardner leading Democratic incumbent Mark Udall by eight points. While polls this early do not say much about the final vote, Republicans hope this poll is a mark of shifting public opinion in the Senate race.
Gardner is not your quintessential Republican. His support of measures making over-the-counter birth control even more accessible and supporting wind and solar energy technologies go against the grain of conservative Republicans, leading Gardner to call himself a new kind of Republican.
I have identified with the Republican party for quite a while now, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my fair share of issues with how representatives have handled themselves and their positions of power.
I believe that everyone should have access to birth control, regardless of socioeconomic status or health insurance plan. Birth control should not just be for the privileged, but should be an integral part of preventative care.
But sometimes access isn’t quite enough. We need to get in schools and provide sex education programs that teach adolescents why they need to use birth control and what pregnancy really looks like. Abstinence only programs just aren’t cutting it anymore; we have to teach people why they need to use birth control before we can expect them to be chomping at the bit to get access to it.
Gardner has also supported measures backing wind and solar power in recent months, going against the majority of Republicans currently in Senate. Current conservatives think that the answer to the US energy crisis lies in more oil drilling. Democrats usually back conservation measures and wholeheartedly support wind and solar technologies.
According to a survey conducted by the Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs, three in four Democrats think that the answer to our current energy woes is clean energy, and the country’s refusal to back measures supporting clean energy is why we’re in crisis mode now.
Meanwhile, those on the other side of the aisle are convinced that it’s governmental limits on drilling leading to our energy concerns. Senate has been so divided on this issue that very little has been accomplished.
But maybe Gardner could be the one to bridge this gap. He could be the one that would stop contributing to the division that we’re seeing, and instead actually work on getting Democrats and Republicans to agree long enough to pass measures that help the energy crisis.
Many have accused Gardner of suddenly being so middle of the aisle in the interest of gaining votes, but I think he’s finally voicing the views of Republicans that have been silent for far too long. There are many, like myself, that support clean energy and accessibility to birth control measures that have been overshadowed by loud-mouth conservatives.
I have faith that Gardner could be the one to bridge the gap. I have faith that he could be the candidate that shows the Republican party what being a representative of this party means.
Maybe a new kind of Republican is exactly what we need.
Collegian Columnist Brittany Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.