A prominent Democrat just called it quits. While he wasn’t necessarily a big name in national politics, Democrats were preparing to throw their support behind him in the 2020 election.
Former state Sen. Mike Johnston was a rising star in the Democratic Party and had been considered a frontrunner for the U.S. Senate in the swing state of Colorado.
But Johnston called it quits after former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper dropped out of the 2020 presidential race and announced he was running for the U.S. Senate in Colorado.
Johnston said, “The more we looked at it, the more I realized that to win the Democratic primary now would require a really expensive and I think a really negative campaign. And that’s not who I am, and that’s not what I believe.”
The winner of Colorado’s Democratic primary will face off against incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican who endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2016.
Hickenlooper praised Johnston in a tweet, calling him a “friend, a tremendous public servant and a great Coloradan. He’s always put the good of the state and indeed country first.”
Mike Johnston is a friend, a tremendous public servant and a great Coloradan. He’s always put the good of the state and indeed country first. I know he will continue to help Colorado do great things going forward.
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) September 3, 2019
Colorado will be arguably the most watched U.S. Senate race in 2020.
While Hillary Clinton narrowly won the state in 2016 with 48.6 percent of the vote, Trump was very close to winning the left-leaning state.
Democrats are low-key waging an all-out war in an attempt to win back control of the U.S. Senate from Republicans in 2020.
But here’s the thing: Democrats have almost no shot to win back the Senate.
Republicans control a 53-47 majority, so Democrats need to net three seats to win control of the U.S. Senate — four if they fail to win back the White House.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer desperately wants to stop this and block Trump from getting anything done, but Senate Democrats are struggling to find states they can flip from red to blue.
Polling shows Democrats only have a chance to flip Colorado and Arizona, and that is it.
Republicans appear to be in prime position to defend and flip a few seats of their own, including the one that slipped away in Alabama when Roy Moore lost to Doug Jones.
Schumer has also failed spectacularly in his attempts to recruit high-profile names to run for the Senate.
Schumer also begged Robert “Beto” O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams to run for the U.S. Senate — but both declined his offer.
O’Rourke rejected another run for U.S. Senate in Texas to run for president.
Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams also turned down Schumer’s request that she run for the Senate in her state.
And Hickenlooper has yet to accept the offer and announce that he’s running for the U.S. Senate in Colorado.
It is more than safe to say that Schumer is not coping well with his recruiting failures and the fact that Democrats have almost no chance to win back the Senate or White House in 2020.
But he’s putting a lot of his time in Hickenlooper, a former governor who never once polled above 0 percent as a presidential candidate.