Bennet Hickenlooper Two SHot
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U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (left) and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, seen during their campaign swings through Iowa in February.

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Among the large and growing field of Democrats who want to be president are the very liberal, liberal and not so liberal.

Neither Coloradan in the 2020 race is ranked as a far-left firebrand, according to Democrats surveyed by Business Insider.

The news outlet asked participants to rank 20 Democratic candidates’ political ideology.

“Once the poll respondents indicated which of the candidates they had heard of, we followed up by asking them to ‘Please rank the following candidates based on how politically left you perceive their politics to be, with the contender in the first (1) position being the most liberal and the contender in the highest-numbered position being the least liberal’,” Business Insider said in its report.

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The survey results rated U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont as by far the most liberal, with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California a distant second. Placing third, fourth and fifth on the furthest-left scale were U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Rated least liberal were U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, followed closely by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Next come U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, former U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper landed close to the middle in the survey. He ranks as the ninth-least liberal — or, put another way, the 11th most liberal, between former Vice President Joe Biden (deemed slightly more liberal) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (slightly less liberal).

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Business Insider calls Bennet “a purple state centrist (who) was part of the Gang of Eight, a group of four Republican and four Democratic lawmakers that wrote a comprehensive immigration reform bill which passed the Senate with bipartisan support in 2013. He’s opposed to ... Sanders’ Medicare-for-all legislation, and has proposed offering a public option for health insurance and allowing the government to negotiate Medicare drug prices.”

Hickenlooper, meanwhile, “built a reputation as a pro-business pragmatist while governing his purple state. He has specifically framed his candidacy as a more moderate option for voters, criticizing the Green New Deal and expressing concerns about Medicare-for-all,” the news outlet reports.

Business Insider says it surveyed 675 Democrats nationwide April 18-19, a few weeks before Bennet declared his candidacy.

Managing Editor, Colorado Politics

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