All of that time spent in a windowless basement, smiling and dialing to shake down Democrats for campaign donations has paid off for John Hickenlooper, who reported with great fanfare Tuesday he’s raised $2.1 million.

Unfortunately for Hick, he’s only got $1.7 million cash on hand.

Hick may be ahead of the other Democratic contenders still in the race after candidates who raised even more than that caved to Washington’s demands and dropped out.

However, Hick is still waaaaaaay behind U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who does not have a slew of primary challengers and didn’t waste his time this year on an ego-driven, fruitless campaign for the presidency.

Gardner out raised Hick this quarter with $2.45 million reported, and Gardner has $6.7 million in the bank.

We reported yesterday that Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has ordered all of his favored candidates, which includes Hick, to employ the “windowless-basement strategy” in order to win Democratic primaries.

The strategy is simple. Sit in a windowless basement with no distractions, smile and dial for campaign contributions, and for pete’s sake, stop engaging with the grassroots.

If Hick wants to catch up with Gardner, his aides might consider replacing Hick’s cell phone with a landline, so he spends more time fundraising and less time playing Candy Crush.