John Hickenlooper drops out of 2020 race and says he'll give 'serious thought' to running for Senate

John Hickenlooper.
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is officially calling it quits.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate announced Thursday in a YouTube video that he's ending his campaign. "In almost every regard, this journey has been more exciting and more rewarding than I ever imagined, although of course I did imagine a very different conclusion," he said.

Reports emerged Wednesday that Hickenlooper, who was struggling in the polls and looked set to not qualify for the next presidential debate, would end his campaign, possibly with an eye toward running for Senate. In his announcement, Hickenlooper says he's "heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate" and that "I intended to give that some serious thought." Hickenlooper would potentially be entering the Senate race against Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and a poll earlier this week showed he would have a lead over other Democrats running.

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This is the second significant drop-out of the 2020 Democratic race after Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), although billionaire Tom Steyer entering the race almost immediately after Swalwell left it ensured that the field remained as oversized as ever.

Following the first presidential debate last month, reports emerged from Politico and CNN that Hickenlooper's senior aides were urging him to exit the race, with Politico reporting his campaign was in "shambles" and would "likely run out of money completely in about a month." Hickenlooper subsequently shook up his campaign and publicly blamed his struggles on his original staff, saying, "These campaigns are long, hard campaigns, and you don't always get it right with the first team." Evidently, he couldn't quite get it right with the second team, either. Brendan Morrow

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