“I think he will have some very thought-provoking ideas to put out there.
“He has never been a negative politician and It will be interesting to see if he can break through the cynicism which permeates our politics.”
Mr Hickenlooper’s stance as a moderate triggered suggestions that he could run alongside John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio, in a unity third party ticket. But such talk has died down.
His local supporters, such as Pat Waak, the former chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic party, believes voters will warm to his thoughtful personality.
“I was and wasn’t surprised when he decided to run for president. There are a lot of good people in the field,” she said. ‘He is not well known by the general public, it will be a lot of hard work, but he will be energised by it. “I have been in politics a long time and I get exasperated by people who don’t know why they are running. “John has thought this through.”
But seasoned observers outside Colorado believe that his lack of name recognition will hold him back in a crowded field.
“He comes from a smaller state in terms of population so he really needs an event to stand out,” said Brandon Barford, a partner at Beacon Policy Advisors, a Washington DC political consultancy.