John Hickenlooper drops out of Democratic race for 2020 presidency
Former governor expected to switch to Senate bid
Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper has announced he is ending his long-shot bid to become president, the latest in what is likely to be a succession of Democrats to fall out of the crowded field.
The 67-year-old posted a video message on social message saying many Americans had discussed both their hopes and fears about the country with him during his short campaign. Reports suggest he is now eyeing a possible bid for a Senate seat.
“This morning, I’m announcing that I’m no longer running for president,” he said. “While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile and I’m thankful to everyone who supported this campaign and our entire team.”
Mr Hickenlooper had previously said he would not continue his bid if he failed to get at least two per cent in a series of national polls, in a crowded field that includes the likes of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Those polls showed him failing to break above one per cent.
The centrist who served as governor from 2011 to 2019, failed to make much impact in either of the debates he took part in, and was struggling to qualify for the third in Texas next month.
His only real moment of virality was when he challenged senator Bernie Sanders’s policies as being too “radical”.
“So again, I think if we are going to force Americans to make these radical changes, they’re not going to go along,” Mr Hickenlooper said.
At that point, the Vermont senator threw his hands in the air, an action to which Mr Hickenlooper responded by saying: “No, throw your hands up.” Mr Sanders then obliged him and did so again.
Mr Hickenlooper has said he is giving “serious thought” to running for the Senate in 2020, and challenging incumbent Republican Cory Gardner. Polls suggest if he did enter that race, Mr Hickenlooper would do so with a large lead.
Mr Hickenlooper is the second of the Democratic candidates to drop out.
In July, congressman Eric Swalwell becomes the first to end his bid. “We have to be honest about our own candidacy’s viability,” Mr Swalwell told reporters as he said he was stepping down.
“Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress with a new perspective shaped by the lives that have touched me and my campaign over the past few months.”
Additional reporting by Associated Press