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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

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.