Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper — once the topic of many articles speculating about his aspirations for higher office — has been de-listed as a possible contender for president by U.S. News and World Report’s Run 2016 blog.
The blog, which keeps track of where water-testing politicians spend their down time, booted Hickenlooper as a likely 2016 presidential candidate because he’s been sticking close to home and can barely hold on to a campaign to retain his current office.
“Hickenlooper’s short-term campaign for gubernatorial re-election has likely drawn attention away from a longer-term run at the White House,” the blog concluded. “A SurveyUSA preliminary poll released Monday shows Hickenlooper commands only 45 percent of likely Colorado voters to Republican opponent Bob Beauprez’s 44 percent.”
“Neither [Massachusetts Gov. Deval] Patrick nor Hickenlooper have made notable political appearances in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina in recent months,” it continued. “Though neither has confirmed nor denied an interest in a presidential bid, it is unlikely their names will appear on the ballot in 2016.”
That’s quite a change from even just a few months ago. Late last year, Hickenlooper told The New York Times that his ex-wife, whom he divorced in 2012, would have remained married to him if he’d decided to run for president. Speculation about his ambitions was kept alive by the Huffington Post, the Weekly Standard and Yahoo News, among many other media organizations.
Former Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown tried to recruit him as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, and someone even set up a Facebook page attempting to “draft” Hickenlooper into a run (although it seems to have gone fallow as of April 2013 and only had 48 likes).
He may yet consider it because, unless his fortunes take a decisive turn, his odds are about evenly split as to whether he’s find himself with a lot of free time in just a few short weeks.
While he’s virtually tied with Republican challenger Bob Beauprez in the SurveyUSA poll, a new Quinnipiac University poll released this week shows him trailing the GOP candidate 46-42 percent. The same polling organization had Beauprez up by 10 points a month ago, but Colorado voters begin casting their mail ballots this week for a final tally on Nov. 4. Even though there’s time left in the race, candidates typically want a comfortable lead before voters begin marking their ballots.
The Quinnipiac poll also shows Hickenlooper making up ground in his favorables, improving from 43 percent to 48 percent, while Beauprez’s unfavorable ratings have climbed from 31 percent to 36 percent.
Hickenlooper is also doing better than in the previous poll with unaffiliated voters and women.
“After seeming to waver in our last survey, women and independent voters pull Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper back from the abyss and reinvigorate a race that’s very close,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said in a press release.
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