Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper dropped his presidential bid Thursday, becoming the first high-profile Democrat to exit the 2020 race.

Why it matters: Hickenlooper had been facing pressure from other Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, to withdraw from the presidential race and run for Senate in Colorado.

  • In the video announcing his departure, Hickenlooper said he'd give "some serious thought" to running for Senate in Colorado.
  • As a presidential candidate, Hickenlooper has struggled to stand out and he’s polled between 0% and 1% since January. But polls among Colorado voters show he’s the clear favorite among any Democratic Senate candidate in the state.

The big picture: When Hickenlooper and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met at the beginning of the month, a source familiar with the meeting said Schumer made his hopes very clear.

  • "You could be the person who is the firewall between Mitch McConnell staying as majority leader in 2021 or the Democrats taking the Senate," the source said Schumer told Hickenlooper. "Chuck Schumer needs John Hickenlooper real bad."
  • Earlier this week, Axios reported on a Democratic group that launched a "Draft Hickenlooper" campaign to encourage him to drop out of the presidential race to run for Senate.

Go deeper

Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Amy Coney Barrett took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice at a White House ceremony Monday night, not long after the Senate voted to confirm her nomination to the high court in a 52-48 vote.

The state of play: Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath. The Supreme Court wrote in a statement that Barrett will take the judicial oath on Tuesday, at which point she will be able to begin her work on the court.

Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.