Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is considering ending his long shot presidential bid and running for the Senate instead.
Hickenlooper drove around Iowa Friday night with 2020 rival Sen. Michael Bennet to discuss the potential decision, the New York Times reported.
The deliberation about a possible bid contradicts Hickenlooper’s earlier dismissal of a possible Senate run. In February, Hickenlooper said he was “not cut out to be a senator.”
“Senators don’t build teams. Senators sit and debate in small groups, which is important, right? But I’m not sure that’s my — I’m a doer. That’s what gives me joy,” he said at the time, telling reporters that he had been approached by Democratic leaders to challenge Republican Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.
The switch comes as Hickenlooper is unlikely to qualify for the next Democratic debates in September.
In June, several of his top campaign staffers quit after he brought in a fraction of donations compared to other candidates and failed to gain traction in the polls. Hickenlooper blamed himself for his faltering campaign.
“There’s just a bunch of skills that don’t come naturally to me,” he said, “like being a really good debater, being real smooth with wealthy donors … I’m committed to growing and working and getting better.”
Hickenlooper fares better in polls for a hypothetical Senate race in Colorado. A poll published Sunday showed he had a 51-point lead over current front-runners in the Democratic primary. Another poll found Hickenlooper leading Gardner by 13 points.