Hickenlooper raises $22.6M for Colorado Senate bid

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Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) raised an eyepopping $22.6 million for his Senate bid in the state in the third quarter of 2020.

The haul is more than four times the $5.2 million he brought in during the second quarter, and he heads into the final sprint to Election Day with $7.2 million in the bank.

The campaign confirmed that the average donation from July to September amounted to $15, and that 485,000 people donated to the campaign. About 97 percent of the donations were under $200.

The haul puts Hickenlooper on strong financial footing in his race to unseat Sen. Cory Gardner (R), widely seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the Senate. Gardner has not yet released his third quarter numbers, though he raised $3.6 million in the second quarter and finished June with a beefier bank account of $10.9 million.

A Hickenlooper spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that donations to the campaign increased after the death last month of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, indicating the upcoming fight over her replacement on the high court right before the election is energizing Democrats.

“I am incredibly grateful for every single one of our grassroots donors and volunteers who have joined our campaign during these difficult times,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Coloradans from every corner of our state are fired up and ready to flip this seat because they are fed up with Cory Gardner’s lockstep support of Donald Trump and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell.

“With the generous backing of this grassroots army, we’re going to bring change to a broken Washington and get to work getting our country out of this crisis,” he added.

The Colorado Senate race is viewed as one of Democrats’ top pick up opportunities and is a lynchpin in the party’s plans to retake the Senate.

Gardner is just one of two Republican senators running for reelection in a state that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential race, with the other being Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. Democrats are confident that Hickenlooper is primed to flip the seat, given his high name recognition from two terms as the Centennial State’s governor and polling showing him with consistent leads in the race.

Colorado’s Senate race is just one of several Democrats are pressing to win, along with efforts to unseat Republicans in Arizona, Maine, North Carolina and more. Democrats need to flip three or four Senate seats this year, depending on which party wins control of the White House, to win a majority.

Democratic candidates have been buoyed by strong fundraising in several of the contests, with challengers raking in tens of millions of dollars in Kentucky, South Carolina and elsewhere. Cal Cunningham, the Democrat challenging North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R), hauled in $28.3 million in the third quarter of 2020, though Cunningham is now facing a scandal over an extramarital affair.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the Colorado Senate race as “lean” Democratic.

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