Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Just Became At Risk, Even If He Wins Kentucky
The number-one item on the agenda for Democrats in 2020 is defeating Donald Trump. But they are also working on retaking the Senate. Republicans hold a three-seat majority and will have to defend 22 seats in 2020. Democrats, meanwhile, are up in just 12 states. So far, three Republican seats are in play, as far as the Cook Political Report is concerned: Colorado, Arizona, and Maine. And Colorado just moved closer to the blue column.
In a move that is seen as a major threat to Mitch McConnell’s reign as Senate Majority Leader, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary on Thursday and hinted that he will launch a Senate bid in his home state.
“I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought,” Hickenlooper said in a statement on Thursday.
The former governor also decried the “dysfunction” in Washington, D.C., and said Americans were “sick” of the political climate.
“They want this country moving forward. They’re sick of the chaos and dysfunction of Washington, D.C., and I couldn’t agree with them more,” Hickenlooper said. “I ran for president because this country is being ripped apart by politics and partisan games while our biggest problems go unsolved.”
Speculation has swirled for weeks that Hickenlooper will seek to challenge Sen. Cory Gardner (Colo.), who is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans seeking reelection in 2020.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has reportedly been trying to push Hickenlooper to launch a Senate campaign for months and polling suggests that the former governor would have no problem getting through his state’s Democratic primary.
A survey conducted late last month by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group found Hickenlooper leading the state Democratic Senate primary pack at 61 percent, with his closest competitor trailing at 10 percent.
If Democrats win in Maine and Arizona, Mitch McConnell will be back to the minority.