Hickenlooper: 'It’s not the level of excitement I was hoping to wake up to'

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Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday tempered his enthusiasm about his upcoming life in the Senate after Democrats’ chances of taking the majority fade.

“I was hoping we would sweep to victory with a number of Senate wins and we’re still cautiously optimistic, but it’s not the level of excitement I was hoping to wake up to.” Hickenlooper said on MSNBC Wednesday morning.

Hickenlooper’s downbeat tone came even as Democrats held onto control of the House and as the party’s presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has an edge on winning the White House.

Democrats needed a net gain of three Senate seats to take back the majority if Joe Biden won the presidential race. They notched two victories in Hickenlooper and Arizona’s Mark Kelly — both of whom won handily — but Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) lost early on and Democratic nominees in Iowa, North Carolina and Montana also appeared to fall short on election night.

There are still a handful of uncalled contests, including both races in Georgia, that could tip the scales, but the odds are stacked against Democrats.

The Colorado senator-elect, who has styled himself as a moderate, said that if Democrats remain in the minority that Republicans will be willing to collaborate on a coronavirus relief package and other cross-cutting issues.

“We gotta find a way to align our self interests,” Hickenlooper said. “Maybe we’re going to have to compromise — what a concept. But we need some kind of relief or we’re going to push this country on the brink of an extended recession.”

Senate Democrats worked hard to recruit Hickenlooper to run for the Senate, both before and after his abortive presidential bid, to challenge GOP Sen. Cory Gardner. Hickenlooper had previously dismissed interest in serving in the Senate, but jumped into the race just a week after ending his presidential campaign.

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