John Hickenlooper expected to drop out of presidential race

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John Hickenlooper campaigns

John Hickenlooper has found it difficult to find an open lane in the oversize Democratic presidential field. | Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to drop out of the presidential race Thursday morning, a campaign staffer confirmed to POLITICO.

Hickenlooper will make the announcement via video. The video will not speak to whether he is launching a bid for U.S. Senate, the staffer said.

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The news comes after the two-term former governor failed to gain ground amid a sprawling field of Democrats. In July, POLITICO reported that Hickenlooper’s campaign was in shambles and that his own senior team urged him to bow out then.

At the time, the ex-governor told advisers he wanted to give it another month on the presidential campaign trail.

While Hickenlooper landed twice on the debate stage, he failed to emerge from polling in the single digits. His decision to bow out came after careful thought over the last month and amid lagging fundraising. He was not expected to qualify for the September debates, which the campaign expected would only further hinder his polling and fundraising, the source said.

The decision to drop out comes as Hickenlooper contemplates a run for the U.S. Senate, the campaign staffer confirmed. While Hickenlooper appeared at a major Democratic Party event in Iowa over the weekend, he broke away to take a private drive with Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a meeting first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by the campaign source, further fueling speculation about his future plans. Democrats are targeting Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.

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