Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (left) and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (left) and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet.

Colorado's John Hickenlooper has posted a second-quarter fundraising total of $1.15 million, scoring near the bottom of the ranks of some two dozen Democratic candidates for president.

Monday was the deadline for candidates to report their fundraising totals.

As of late Monday, only three Democrats had released Q2 fundraising totals lower than the former Colorado governor and Denver mayor's $1,152,094:

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, at nearly $1.1 million;
  • Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, at $876,000; and
  • Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, at $284,476, not counting $7.75 million in personal loans Delaney had made to himself.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, Hickenlooper's Colorado rival in the race, previously reported his quarterly fundraising total of $2.8 million, plus $700,000 transferred from his Senate campaign fund, for a total of $3.5 million.

That puts Bennet near the mid-point on the quarterly fundraising list among Democratic 2020 hopefuls, roughly tied with former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro and businessman Andrew Yang and ahead of, for example, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ($2.3 million), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock ($2 million) and author Marianne Williamson ($1.5 million).

VIDEO: The Wall Street Journal's Gerald F. Seib explains what fundraising totals mean at this point in the race at the end of this story.

At the top of the pack in fundraising across April, May and June, all with totals north of $10 million, were:

  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at $24.8 million (including $832,000 in funds designated for the general election);
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden, at $21.5 million;
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, at $19.1 million;
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, at $18 million; and
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris; at less than $12 million.

Not among the Democrats filing reports is a recent entrant to the race, billionaire Tom Steyer, who intends to dump $100 million of his own money into his campaign.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's re-election bid scored $108 million in Q2. While that total far outstrips any single Democrat, the Democratic field collectively topped the president.

Trump's sole GOP challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, raised $691,000.

While Hickenlooper waited until deadline day to post his Q2 fundraising numbers, Reuters first reported his total two weeks ago, citing an unnamed source.

Hickenlooper raised less money in the second quarter for his presidential campaign than did U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, for her re-election bid ($1.2 million).

Hickenlooper's report paints a bleak financial picture of his campaign. He spent $1.65 million in the three-month period, more than he raised, and ended the quarter with $836,276 in cash on hand, "numbers that put him at the bottom of the Democratic field," CNN says. Hickenlooper donated $30,000 to his own campaign in Q2.

Hickenlooper was one of 11 Democrats who spent more than what they took in across the latest quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bennet, meanwhile, reported spending $1.3 million during the period and ending the second quarter with $2.2 million in cash on hand.

Hickenlooper has been fielding questions in recent weeks about the viability of his campaign, given his fundraising performance, his (and Bennet's) continued low standing in the polls, the lukewarm reviews he got for his performance at last month's Miami debates, and reports that some of his campaign staff leaders had urged him to exit the race.

He is replacing several key staff members, including his campaign manager. And, while admitting in an early-July interview that "the vast majority of the problem with the campaign was me," he has signaled he will carry on with his campaign. He plans appearances in early-primary state New Hampshire on Wednesday.

"I've got to follow this to the end," Hickenlooper told reporters in Iowa last week. He has not spelled out whether "the end" means after the debate cycle now under way or at some point during the caucus and primary schedule in early 2020.

Hickenlooper so far has resisted calls from Democratic leaders for him to enter the already-crowded race for U.S. Senate in Colorado, where Democrats see Republican incumbent Cory Gardner as one of the top Senate takeaway targets on the 2020 schedule.

Of a Senate run, he said in Iowa that "I don't think that's my calling," although he did say he had discussed the idea with staffers, who — he said — told him he would be a "lock" to beat Gardner.

Both Coloradans in the race averaged 0.6% support among Democrats in five national polls conducted since July 6, Real Clear Politics reports.

The next debate of Democratic candidates -- likely including Hickenlooper and Bennet -- is slated for July 30-31 in Detroit. But the pair will need to improve their showing both in the polls and with donors to meet the tougher rules for the subsequent Democratic debate rounds starting in September.

In an email to supporters Monday, the Hickenlooper campaign said that the Detroit debate "could be John’s last opportunity to take the stage" unless fundraising improves.

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Managing Editor, Colorado Politics

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