The Hill reports:
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said he may still consider running for Senate in 2020 if his standing in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary doesn’t improve…
Despite his failure to gain traction in the presidential primary, Hickenlooper is widely recognized as a strong candidate to take on Colorado’s Republican Sen. Cory Gardner as Democrats try to flip the Senate. He is one of several presidential candidates many Democrats have said should run for Senate and Colorado, Arizona and Maine are seen as the most competitive states for Democrats to pick up.
From the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Ernest Luning, who has closely followed the end stages of former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s not-to-be-cheri presidential bid and first reported this moment of underdog clarity on satellite radio this past weekend:
“I’ve never ruled out anything,” he told SiriusXM’s Chris Frates — a former Denver Post reporter — when the Politics Inside Out host pressed him on a Senate bid. But the Democrat insisted his attention is “still 100% right now focused on being president.”
“What excites me is being in those executive positions and put a team together, I can win a campaign that people say I can’t, and then we do the things that people say can’t be done. That’s what excites me,” Hickenlooper told Frates on Sunday. “Again, at a certain point, if I can’t get myself beyond 2%, I’d be a — I’d be a fool to spend two years doing it.”
…Pressed to say whether he would rule out jumping to the Senate race, Hickenlooper responded: “I’ve never ruled out anything.” [Pols emphasis]
There are several waypoints to watch for along Hickenlooper’s transition from minor candidate in the presidential race to instant frontrunner in the Democratic primary to take on vulnerable incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020. The first and most obvious is the groundswell of support that surfaced following early rumors that such a move was in the offing as we first reported last Friday. The next is likely to come when (nominally still ‘if’) Hickenlooper fails to qualify for the next round of Democratic presidential debates based on the higher bar of support required. If he does make the cut, it would almost certainly delay Hickenlooper’s switch to the Senate race–without penalty since the national TV time in these debates is a net positive even without an uptick in polling support.
Barring something that at this point we have no reason to expect, though, everything we’ve heard suggests Hickenlooper’s transition from presidential underdog to U.S. Senate frontrunner is nearing certainty–and this latest interview only further reinforces the likelihood. At this point it’s about a smooth transition, and maximizing the value of Hickenlooper’s remaining time in the presidential race to position himself against Gardner.
Besides, nobody who puts in the time to run for President should miss out on the Iowa State Fair.