Hickenlooper expected to leave presidential race, source says

Polls show Hickenlooper would have a big lead over Republican Sen. Cory Gardner if he decided to enter Colorado's Senate race.
Image: Presidential Candidates Hit The Soapbox At The Iowa State Fair
Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper during a campaign speech at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

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By Stephanie Ruhle and Alex Johnson

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to drop out of the Democratic presidential race on Thursday, a source close to Hickenlooper told NBC News on Wednesday night.

Hickenlooper, who has struggled to top 1 percent in polling among Democratic candidates, is widely believed to be considering switching races to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. Polls indicate Hickenlooper would enter the Senate campaign with a large lead.

Early this month, Hickenlooper, 67, said in a Sirius radio interview that if he couldn't crack 2 percent in the Democratic field, "I'd be a fool to spend two years" running for president.

NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reported this month that a Colorado political consultant had reserved several "Hickenlooper for Senate" web addresses.