Democratic group pressing Hickenlooper to drop White House bid, run for Senate

Democratic group pressing Hickenlooper to drop White House bid, run for Senate
© Greg Nash

A Democratic group that supports scientists running for office launched a campaign Tuesday to push former Colorado Gov. John Hicknelooper to drop out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and run for Senate. 

The group, 314 Action, said as “a scientist, entrepreneur and two-term Governor, John would bring a much-needed perspective to the US Senate where [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE has blocked action on the most pressing issues including climate change, guns and healthcare.”

314 Action bought the homepage ad on The Denver Post's website for its “Draft Hick for Senate” campaign on Tuesday. 

“Put service over ambition by defeating one of Trump’s biggest enablers in [Sen.] Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTariffs threaten 1.5M jobs: Study This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Progressive veterans group launches campaign labeling Trump as a 'national security threat' MORE,” the ad says, a direct plea to Hickenlooper, who has been dismissive of calls for him to run for Senate.

“We need Hick’s pragmatic progressive leadership in the US Senate! Giddy up!”

The ad says any donation will “immediately transfer" to Hickenlooper’s Senate campaign, should he decide to run.

A spokesperson for Hickenlooper’s presidential campaign did not immediately respond for comment. 

“The only way to send Mitch McConnell to the minority is with a win in Colorado, and John has the best opportunity to defeat America’s most vulnerable Senator,” 314 Action Fund Executive Director Josh Morrow said in a statement. 

Hickenlooper is a long-shot presidential candidate. He’s polling between zero and 1 percent in a crowded field of more than two dozen candidates seeking the party nomination. 

However, he’s popular among Colorado voters and could mount a serious challenge to Gardner in one of the most vulnerable Republican seats Democrats are looking to flip in 2020. 

314 Action cites a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday that found Hickenlooper leads Gardner by 13 points, 58 to 31 percent, in a hypothetical match up. The poll found Hickenlooper has a 17-point lead over Gardner among independent voters.

314 Action also pointed to a poll published Monday in The Denver Post that showed 61 percent of Democrats said Hickenlooper gives the party its best chance at beating Gardner. 

Hickenlooper said earlier this month that he hasn’t “ruled out” a Senate run, but maintained that he is focused on this presidential campaign. 

He previously dismissed speculation over a Senate run, telling reporters, “I don’t think that’s my calling.”

Updated at 9:43 a.m.