Hickenlooper withdraws from crowded Democratic race

16 Aug 2019 / 10:48 H.

WASHINGTON: Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper dropped out of the race for the Democratic party’s 2020 presidential nomination Thursday, the second victim of poor polling in a hugely crowded race.

But the centrist 67-year-old left open the possibility that he could take on Republican Cory Gardner next year for one of the state’s two seats in the US Senate.

Hickenlooper had pitched his long experience leading a state with a sizable Republican minority, warning Democrats against straying too far leftward in the fight to dethrone President Donald Trump next year.

But he failed to make a mark nationally after two televised debates in June and July.

He could not bring his polling support above 1%, and was struggling to meet the new donor and polling thresholds to qualify for the next Democratic debate, in September.

“This morning, I’m announcing that I’m no longer running for President,“ he said via Twitter and video messages.

“While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile & I’m thankful to everyone who supported this campaign and our entire team.”

“I ran for president because this country is being ripped apart by politics and partisan games while our biggest problems go unsolved.”

“Change is possible when we work together,“ he said.

He said he had been approached by Coloradans to run for the Senate.

“I intend to give that some serious thought.”

Biden still leading polls

Hickenlooper was the second to drop out of the race for the Democratic Party nomination, following congressman Eric Swallwell who dropped out in early July.

His departure left 23 still fighting for the nomination.

Based on the Real Clear Politics poll averages, former vice president Joe Biden leads with 30.4% support, Senator Bernie Sanders is second with 17.2%, and Senator Elizabeth Warren is a close third at 16.8%, followed by Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke all below 10%.

The rest of the field scores 2% or less each.

Among them is the current Democratic senator from Colorado, Michael Bennet.

“John was a great mayor and governor, and helped shape the presidential race with his pragmatic viewpoint,“ Bennet said of Hickenlooper.

“He provided a valuable voice in this primary, bringing the ideas and solutions he successfully championed in Colorado to the national debate.” — AFP

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