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August 13, 2019 01:33 PM UTC

PPP: Hickenlooper 51%, Gardner 38%

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: As the New York Times reports, Hick is sure looking like a Senate candidate:

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado is in discussions about ending his presidential bid and entering the race for his state’s Republican-held Senate seat, potentially giving Democrats a strong candidate in a race they must win to have hopes of retaking the chamber in 2021, according to four Democrats familiar with his thinking.

Mr. Hickenlooper, who is mired at the bottom of public polling of the presidential race, hopped into Senator Michael Bennet’s car on Friday night in this Northern Iowa town to discuss his impending decision, said Democrats familiar with the discussion, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe confidential talks.

The two drove around Clear Lake for about 20 minutes ahead of the Wing Ding dinner, a Democratic fund-raiser that drew 21 presidential candidates. Aides and advisers to the two men, who have been both allies and rivals over their careers in Colorado politics, declined to reveal what was discussed.


As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports:

“I think there’s one candidate who can beat Cory Gardner and send (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell into the minority and it’s John Hickenlooper,” said Josh Morrow, the 314 Action Fund’s executive director…

“I just see this as doing a greater service to the country,” Morrow said of running for Senate, “than running for president and being president.”

The 314 Action Fund also paid for a poll of 739 Colorado voters, conducted Aug. 8-11 by Public Policy Polling, that found Hickenlooper leading Gardner in a hypothetical head-to-head contest, 51% to 38%. The margin of error was 3.6%.

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper polling over the 50% threshold as a hypothetical candidate against incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner in this latest poll from Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling only reinforces the psychological effect of yesterday’s poll showing Hickenlooper over 50% versus the next-best Democratic primary candidate at only 10% support. There’s just no way anyone else in the running today can compete with Gov. Hickenlooper’s overwhelmingly high name in-state name ID and popularity if he decides to get into the U.S. Senate race.

As for the other candidates, including one with a pre-existing relationship with 314 Action Fund as the Post reports today, this turn of events isn’t personal–though it is certainly disappointing to those hopefuls. There was always the possibility that a higher-order candidate would emerge, if not Hickenlooper than with member(s) of Congress whose names came and went. The path for Democrats to retaking the U.S. Senate in 2020 is exceedingly narrow and can afford to leave nothing to chance. That being the case, the best choice by far is the one that minimizes risks.

Every single indicator we have today says that’s John Hickenlooper.


55 thoughts on “PPP: Hickenlooper 51%, Gardner 38%

  1. Is this guy going to successfully bumble his way UP again? He seems to have a knack for running if/when the time is conducive for Democrats to win. Please no more Frackenlooper.

    From 314 Action fund website front page: “We need leaders who aren’t afraid of data, who won’t shy away from the facts and who will base policy on evidence.” Does not quite sound like Mr. Hickenlooper to me.

    1. You have a pretty clear picture of "the Frackmeister Hisself"

      Astonishing to me that so many people are willing to overlook his dishonesty and his willingness to encourage and protect the Oily Boyz.

      How does Senator Hickenlooper tackle climate change?By promoting natural gas development? By being a "not socialist"? By partnering with liberal innovators ( snark alert) like John Kasich?

      What you are seeing here is a victory of politics over policy. 

      1. He isn't dishonest. He is open in his support of fossil fuels. I don't agree with him and calling one of the Oily Boys is accurate unfortunately.

        You are right, it is a victory of politics over policy because there is absolutely no way Dems get to 51 Senate seats without winning Colorado, Arizona, and two other states (or one other state along with holding Alabama).

        Your fixation with purity is a luxury we cannot afford right now.

    2. His first run for Governor was 2010 – which was a bad year for Democrats. 

      His re-election was 2014 – which was a really bad year for Democrats. 

      Wouldn’t really call either of those elections “conducive for Democrats to win”

  2. Phew!  Run, Hick, Run!  The remaining 11% undecided (51-38 decided) will swing to Hick once he becomes an official candidate/nominee. 

    Buh-bye, Cory!

    1. I'm with you, itlduso. No, I'm not crazy about Hick, but if he's the one candidate with a "D" after his name that can pry Conman Cory out of that seat, I'm not proud, I'll take it.

    2. If Biden is the national ticket and Hickenlooper is the Senate nominee, and all the US House races are pretty much foregone conclusions, where's the excitement and enthusiasm going to come from? 

      I'm sure someone, somewhere, will be pushing for substantial voter turnout.  There could be Amendments! Initiatives!!

      1. There WILL be ballot initiatives to excite both sides. Unfortunately, the Protect the Egg Folks have learned from their past mistakes and are apparently running a more moderate anti-choice initiative this time. Perhaps we on the left should try to raise the statewide minimum wage?

        1. Letting religious nutters alter state law to limit how doctors treat patients experiencing medical tragedies is not moderate.


          p.s. the state minimum wage already is on auto-raise.

          1. Auto raise. That was the mistake.

            I remember when Reaganomics was introduced in 1981 and they decided to index to solve the problem of bracket-creep. Even some conservatives opposed that because it would have eliminated the joy of cutting people's taxes every few years.

            I suppose we can run a ballot initiative to increase the size of the auto raises.

      2. Make student loans tax deductible- in addition to the standard deduction.
        Not just the interest- principal too.

        Make Medicare premiums tax deductible.


        1. Make student loans tax deductible- in addition to the standard deduction.  Not just the interest- principal too.

          Sounds like maybe we should just fund legitimate public higher education institutions like we used to (circa 1970’s), and just avoid all the “tax deductibility” nonsense and games playing???

          You’re implying essentially that same thing (except the “deductible” student loans would still supply hugely perverse incentives for all of the myriad Davos private scam schools) . . .

            1. [blush]

              Probably just a lucky guess . . .

              . . . either that, or, something I managed to somehow pick up during semester 17 at The Amazing Trump School of Fantastic Hair Design? 

          1. right

            But as I learned from Rossputin yesterday (AM630 around 930am) – taxes don't matter unless voters understand them.
            And the deficit is irrelevant – again.

            I agree with your direct approach public investment (funding) for education should be for public schools for everyone.

            But since "free" is now evil and easily defeated, the ballot proposal would have to have more complex language to motivate turnout.


            1. You’re talking about “free,” and I’m talking affordable.  I don’t recall many public colleges and universities ever being free, but I do remember them once-upon-a-time being funded.

              I’m not saying I’ve spent a great deal of time with this, and I don’t think I’d be an advocate for “free” education (i.e., higher education for those 18 and over).  I personally think I believe that students wanting to, and choosing to, attend college should have some of their own skin in the game by personally footing a reasonable amount — I do know I’m not a supporter of it being an outrageous amount that leads to a long lifetime of indebtedness and servitude.  That system (our system today) doesn’t work at all to provide results to anyone’s or society’s benefit. 

              Maybe you should try KUVO jazz (89.3 FM)?  


              1. When I went to CU tuition was about $300 a year — not semester, a nine month academic year.  Add on a zero for inflation and $3,000 a year would be reasonable today.  It needn't be free, but the real cost is jus t living — room, board, beer, pizza, marijuana and other necessities.

  3. I’d guess that there’s at least a 51% chance that Alva will have another overwhelmingly Hickolicious poll for our awe and wonderment tomorrow??? . . . 

    (. . . senate race poll that is, not a Presidential one . . .)

  4. Would really rather he retire to the oil fields. Darn near Any Democrat could beat Cory. I’d prefer Baer, Romanov or Madden but I guess I could get on the Hick train if necessary

  5. (I have permission to share)


    From Joseph Salazar


    I was there when Hickenlooper played the coward and we had to drag him kicking and screaming to sign the 2013 Civil Rights Remedies Act. Organizations of color had to threaten to withdraw support from him if he didn’t sign the bill. 

    I was there when he apologized to the Colorado Sheriffs for signing gun safety legislation after WE (legislators) passed three pivotal gun safety bills with much damage done to our brave colleagues. I, Sens. Rhonda Fields, Jessie Ulibarri, Angela Giron, Evie Hudak, John Morse and others had to endure heinous racist and sexist attacks because we stood for gun safety. I had to move my family out of the house THREE times due to death threats.

    But, Hickenlooper tucked tail like the coward he is.

    I was there when he refused to support Sen. Angela Williams’ and my contract disparity bill, a bill designed to examine the disparities involving women/people of color owned businesses in state contracting because, as he said, “We all know what it’s going to show.”

    I was there when he refused to support bills for indigenous peoples.

    I was there when he refused to support the Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act – my bill that was SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to protect our communities from this Trump Terror.

    I was there when he let the oil and gas industry grow uncontrollably and plague the entire Front Range with oil rigs. He openly OPPOSED my bills and the bills of my colleagues that sought to hold the industry accountable to Coloradans and our environment.

    He proclaims to be a “moderate” when he is nothing but a status quo ignoramus whose positions are harming our communities and planet.

    If you think Hickenlooper is the Second F’ing Coming and is the only one who can beat Gardner, unfriend me on Facebook. 

    As the Creator is my ultimate judge, if #SnollygosterHick#HijinxHickjumps into this Senate race, don’t get upset when I come at him without gloves on.

    We have strong candidates, including strong women and women of color candidates, who can and will take out Gardner. I’m done with amoral mediocre politicians who are willing to sell out our communities. You should be too.

    1. If Hickenlooper does jump in, do any of the top 3 or 4 candidates decide to jump out?  Would anyone lose something valuable to them by staying in or gain in the long run by jumping out?


      1. None of the top three would be risking loss of current office since none of them hold an office. Madden lost in 2018. Romo lost in 2014. Johnston also lost in '18.

        I am guessing each will think he or she is the magic elixir for the hard left which will coalesce around him or her and generate an upset which costs Hick the primary. (Although choosing between Hick and Johnston for a hard lefty is akin to selecting between drinking hemlock and blowing your brains out with a gun. Una pregunta para La Pomposa: given the choice between Oily Boy Hick and anti-teacher's union Johnston, who would you pick?)

        Remember, while Hick has never been beloved by all in the Demoratic Party, a lot of unaffiliates liked him each time his name appeared on the ballot. And "U's" can vote in primaries now.

          1. If it makes Dianne Feinstein chairwoman of the judiciary committee and Schumer majority leader, I really don't care.

            By the way, I was a fan of Claire McCaskill. Not so much Manchin, but I can tolerate him. The Dems need a big tent, too.

    2. 👏🏼👏🏼 Joe.

      To sum up, we have Pols unabashedly shilling for Hick by publishing an unsourced “poll” that supposedly put Hick ahead of any Senate candidate, although Hick isn’t running for Senate and has said that he doesn’t want the job.

      Then yesterday, we have 314 Colorado, a nominally pro-science organization, ignoring the two credentialed working scientist candidates, and proudly shilling for Hickenlooper to get into the race. Run Hick Run! proclaimed 314 Action.

      314 Action commissioned a PPP poll, which was a legit poll, although the wording of the questions was decidedly slanted towards a Hick candidacy.

      “ John Hickenlooper is one of the nation’s top leaders on climate change.. Does this make you more or less likely to vote for him?”

      Not surprisingly, this push poll showed Hick with a strong showing against primary opponents and against Gardner. 

      I have a question for all these well meaning Democratic consultants- why don’t you just put your heads together a year before the election, pick your candidate, and just tell the voting public who the hell its gonna be? Why go through all this charade and expense? You have no faith in the electorate s judgment, no commitment to diversity since you’re choosing to not even acknowledge the six women and people of color you’re steamrolling over, and no real commitment to truth, since you’re relying on bogus and obviously slanted polls to shove your candidate down our throats. 

      Next time, just tell us who you’ve chosen, and we’ll dutifully color in the little arrow next to your preferred older, male, white, corporate candidate. At least, 35% of us will. The rest of the voters knowing how much contempt you have for their opinions, will toss the ballots in the trash.

      1. the PPP production was a pretty standard "push poll," with a question about the race first, then probing to see other areas that might make it more or less likely to gain support.   Gun control, climate change and health care all work for him, and all about the same.  No probes in this "memo" about the poll to see how people react to Hick on taxes, prison reform, roads, or environmental pollution. 

        Hick won elections against (if I remember correctly) Don Mares (and others in the 1st round), Susan Casey, Maes & Tancredo, and Beauprez.  I suspect Cory Gardner is a more skillful politician, will have a more unified party behind him, and will have a larger set of resources than anyone Hickenlooper ever faced.  The only good news is Gardner has tied himself to Trump, and Trump is not a draw for much of Colorado's electorate. 

        Whoever wins the Democratic primary will have a similar situation. 

  6. PPP's poll is also pretty shit.  John Hickenlooper once surgically removed his own kidney and transplanted it into a 12-year-old boy, all while single-handedly reintroducing unicorns to the wild.  Does this make you more or less likely to vote for him, or are you a heartless demon-spawn who should be condemned to an eternity burning in hell?

    Also, he's at 51%.  Is every other Dem, too?  Are they even farther ahead?  We'll never know based on this poll.

  7. I just had a nice chat with Romanoff.  He's just concentrating on getting his word out and meeting voters.  

    at least, he knows what he wants.   I covered him when he was speaker and he remains one of the finest political leaders I know, concerned with getting the job done above his own ego.

    can he win?  H ell, I don't know.  But he passes the first and most important test in politics, which is showing up.


        1. When you speak of who can win, we are dealing in hypotheticals and there is almost no data to support any supposition…either way.

          On the other hand, we know the character of both your favorite candidate and mine. They have records of activity and behavior that are knowable. Everything else is speculation.

          If, as you hope, the former governor becomes our new senator, will he turn his back on his besties? Will he support increased regulation on fossil fuel development and emphasize the Green New Deal? Will he fight for us? Will he focus on the well-being of the people of Colorado or the petroleum of Colorado?

          You know what I consider the primary difference between Hicklooper and Gardner?

          Which oil interests they represent. Otherwise…very little.

          1. So, you'll sabotage Hickenlooper, who only supports mainstream Democrats 95 percent of the time in hopes of a 99 percent leftie, thereby re-electing Gardner, ho screws us 99 pct of the time.

            Leftie math is something I'll never understand.

          2. I hope to God Hick doesn't support the New Green Deal lock, stock and barrel. (There are parts of it that are fine, but whole damn thing…..)


  8. "I'm not cut out to be a senator."

    -John Hickenlooper; February 23, 2019


    This should not be overcome by a 'change of heart', or 'so many backers want me to do it.' He basically said he does not have the skills to be a senator. 


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