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.

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EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Belarus riot police detain protesters in Minsk on Tuesday. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union warned Tuesday it could reimpose sanctions on Belarus as riot police clashed for a third night with demonstrators protesting this week's elections that the EU described as "neither free nor fair," per the Guardian.

Why it matters: The EU removed most sanctions against Belarus four years ago, after "Europe's last dictator" Alexander Lukashenko released political prisoners and permitted protests, AP notes. The EU said in a statement Tuesday it would be "conducting an in-depth review" into its relations with former Soviet country over his elections win claim and the deadly crackdown on protesters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 20,284,882 — Total deaths: 741,126— Total recoveries: 12,585,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 5,141,208 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe

Ilhan Omar wins Minnesota primary

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary against lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux on Tuesday evening, AP reports.

Why it matters: The race is one that's played out across the U.S. as progressives continue to sweep party nominations. Omar's win officially means all four progressive members of "The Squad" have won their primary elections.