Bernie Sanders is already a major problem for John Hickenlooper, and if he is the Democratic presidential nominee, Hickenlooper’s race to defeat Senator Cory Gardner takes a major blow. Hickenlooper, recognizing his weakness with the Democratic Party’s activists and special interest groups, decided early to use a petition route to the nomination.
And, although he will show up at the Saturday, March 7 caucus, he won’t be popular. Sanders’s supporters, who are likely to dominate the March 3 presidential primary, are one of the most powerful forces in the party today, and Hickenlooper is one of their least favorite politicians. Recall, he specifically criticized Sanders’s socialism in debates and called him a loser at the 2019 California Democratic convention and got booed for it by the party’s left wing and Sanders accolades.
The caucus, convention and primary processes from now to June 30 will provide a perfect platform to endlessly criticize Hickenlooper. And, of course, they will be joined by the anti-fracking activists that have already disrupted the State of the State speech and have specifically targeted Hickenlooper with their anger and aggressive tactics.
If Hickenlooper survives the primary because a majority of the party still wants to win in November, he may then have to run with the most vulnerable Democratic nominee since George McGovern in 1972, who only carried Massachusetts and D.C. (even Vermont voted for Nixon). Candidate Trump will assail him as an extremist. Cory Gardner will be the major beneficiary as moderate Republicans stay with the President and moderate Democrats abandon the ticket.
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