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Hickenlooper talking to reporters after the second debate. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Democratic group 314 Action, which supports candidates with a science background, is launching a six-figure "Draft Hickenlooper" campaign Tuesday to encourage John Hickenlooper to drop out of the 2020 presidential race and instead run for Senate, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Hickenlooper would almost certainly win the nomination for Senate — he's favored by 61% of Democratic primary voters in Colorado, according to a new poll by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group.

  • The same is harder to see at this point in the cycle for his presidential fortunes.
  • He has been polling between 0% and 1% since the beginning of 2019.
  • Several of his top staffers ditched him after the first debate, leaving his presidential campaign in shambles.

"It’s a big sacrifice for Hickenlooper, but a sacrifice that America needs," said Josh Morrow, 314 Action's executive director.

  • The Hickenlooper campaign declined to comment.

The backstory: Morrow told Axios he's heard from Democrats in Colorado close to Hickenlooper, as well as many among their organization's nearly 1 million members, who are yearning for him to drop out.

  • "We're hoping John understands there’s a real need for him in the Senate to put this country back to normal," Morrow said.
  • They've monitored Hickenlooper's stagnant polling and low fundraising numbers throughout the cycle, and they think their grassroots network of Democratic supporters can help raise at least $500,000 for him through small-dollar donors.
  • The group bought the homepage ad on the Denver Post's website for the entire day tomorrow, and they're placing digital ads around the country to raise money for this effort.
  • If he doesn't decide to run, Morrow said all the donations will be refunded.

The big picture: 314 Action launched a similar campaign to encourage Mark Kelly to run for Senate in Arizona, and they've since raised over $450,000 for him.

  • "If Mark Kelly is any indication, we saw from Alaska to Hawaii people who have supported his campaign," Morrow added.
  • He argued that Hickenlooper could more easily gain national support as a Senate candidate than a presidential candidate because it's a smaller field and he'd be challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, who's viewed favorably by 40% of Coloradans and unfavorably by 39%.

For what it's worth, a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aide said they "haven't heard anything new" on Hickenlooper's political future.

Go deeper: John Delaney's staffers have asked him to drop out

Go deeper

Danger lurks in the Democrats' police talk

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats celebrate last June after they passed the George Floyd Policing Act. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

As Congress forges ahead with police reform legislation, Democratic operatives are warning lawmakers to steer clear of any defund-the-police rhetoric since it could hurt them in the midterms.

Why it matters: President Biden and his fellow Democrats say Congress needs to pass the George Floyd Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds, prohibit no-knock warrants and generally make it easier to hold officers accountable for misconduct.

Exclusive: Harris meets Guatemalan president Monday, travels in June

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet virtually Monday with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to discuss solutions to the surge of migration, and she'll visit the region in June, a senior White House official told Axios.

Why it matters: The administration is taking a multi-pronged approach to solving the problem and also hopes to announce details about its plan for investing aid in Central America on Monday — although a final dollar amount has yet to be decided.

Scoop: Government pays for some sponsors to pick up migrant kids

MIgrant minors play soccer at a holding facility in Donna, Texas. Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills/AFP via Getty Images

The federal government has been paying travel costs for adult sponsors trying to get to shelters to pick up migrant children, a Department of Health and Human Services agency spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: Officials would not provide numbers, but the policy shift underscores the urgency the Biden administration feels to quickly release kids who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone and remain in HHS custody.