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Hickenlooper stumbles in must-win Senate race for Democrats

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Hickenlooper stumbles in must-win Senate race for Democrats

John Hickenlooper has stumbled in the closing weeks of Colorado’s Senate primary, creating openings for his opponent and Republicans that have unsettled a critical race for Democrats in their bid to recapture the Senate.

Democrats acknowledge Hickenlooper has made serious mistakes on what was supposed to be a glide path to the Democratic nomination. After being cited for contempt this month for initially failing to appear before Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission, Hickenlooper was fined $2,750 for two violations dating back to his second term as governor.

He’s also apologized for comments about race, including responding to a question about the Black Lives Matter protests in a recent forum by saying the phrase means "every life matters," echoing a common refrain among conservatives.

Republicans launched TV ads last week aiming to press the advantage, attacking Hickenlooper and hoping to either drag him down before next week's primary or weaken him as he emerges as the nominee.

Hickenlooper — who was recruited and immediately endorsed by national Democrats after dropping his presidential bid — remains the favorite in the tighter-than-expected June 30 primary against Andrew Romanoff, the former state House speaker, according to interviews with a dozen Democrats in Colorado and Washington last week, many of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly. Additionally, they say he maintains an advantage in the general election against GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, especially with President Donald Trump's falling poll numbers over the past few months, and in a state where the electorate tilts increasingly blue.

But Democrats' nominating contest has become much more competitive and fraught in the final stretch. Romanoff launched the first attack ad of the primary Friday, and a new super PAC created only last week immediately released a negative counterattack battering the lesser-known challenger. After his slip-ups, Hickenlooper has rolled out new local and national endorsements aiming to re-establish his pole position.


Here is another kooky democrat, this one actually thought he could be president a year ago. And now he is in trouble over his senate seat.

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