Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado ends presidential run

Bennet went all in on New Hampshire, but the strategy didn't pan out.
Image: Michael Bennet
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., spoke at a town hall meeting in Dover, New Hampshire, on Feb. 2, 2020.Mary Altaffer / AP

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By Amanda Golden

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is ending his presidential campaign, sources told NBC News.

Bennet, who entered the race in May, centered his campaign on issues of reforming democracy, tackling climate change and expanding on the Affordable Care Act with a public option.

Despite jumping into the race later than many of the other Democratic presidential hopefuls, Bennet announced that he was going all in on New Hampshire for his campaign strategy toward the end of 2019, committing to and completing 50 town halls in the state in the final weeks before the state's primary.

"I think New Hampshire really is in a position to make a difference here," Bennet had said at a house party in Brentwood, New Hampshire, following the chaos of last week's Iowa caucuses. "You don't have to accept anybody else's conventional wisdom. The muddle in Iowa creates an opportunity for you to apply your own views here."

After pouring resources into New Hampshire, Bennet messaged that a third- or fourth-place finish was key to his staying in the race.

"I bet it all on New Hampshire," he said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I think I need to come in the top three or four to be able to go on, and I hope we'll surprise some people tomorrow."

Bennet tried to meet voters where they were by taking any and all questions in living rooms, town halls and the like across the state, nabbing notable endorsements like those of Democratic strategist James Carville, Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, and former presidential candidate Gary Hart.

But the traditional retail politics approach came into conflict with a more nationalized primary cycle.

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"I think it's very important that you show up in places where people agree with you and where people disagree with you and let people ask questions and bring criticism," Bennet said. "I am very worried about the nationalization of our election."