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Bashing presidential debates, de Blasio says he might stick around past Oct. 1 deadline to qualify for next round

2019-09-18

Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday indicated he may keep up his flailing presidential campaign even if he fails to qualify for the next round of Democratic debates.

“I don’t think debates are moving public polling a whole lot,” he told reporters. “I’m not sure how much they’re contributing to people’s ultimate decision making.”

Questioning the value of the forums, he said, “It’s a really hard model for all of us as citizens and voters to make sense of 10 different people competing in a single session.”

The comments came after de Blasio failed to meet requirements of at least 2% support in four separate polls and $130,000 campaign contributors for the presidential debate earlier this month. The same standards apply for the next round, with a deadline of 11:50 p.m. Oct. 1.

De Blasio has failed to break out of the zero-to-1% range in polls since the May start of his campaign.

Low numbers have prompted New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and five others to drop out of the race.

But Hizzoner said he places little value in polling at this stage of the game.

“I just reject the notion out of hand that months and months before anyone votes, we should assume that polls tell us the outcome,” he said.

De Blasio cited two examples as sources of hope against all odds: his own 2013 win in NYC, and President Trump.

“For most of that election, plenty of people appeared to have a lot more support,” he said of his first mayoral run. “And the conventional wisdom had written me out of that election early on, except the voters had different ideas.”

He also recounted the build-up to Trump’s 2016 win, saying, “Polling misled everyone in this nation. The result was different than literally almost anyone in public life thought it would be.”

De Blasio previously suggested he’d likely drop out if he didn’t make it to the next debate.

But on Wednesday he said, “I’m not going to give you a definitive answer,” though he added: “It’s hard to continue a campaign when you can’t get on that debate stage.”

He sounded a lot like a pol who’s in it for the long haul — even though a humiliating zero percent of Dems in NYC support his presidential run, according to a Tuesday poll from Siena College.

“It is September,” de Blasio said. “The first voting in this country is not till February. And I will commit to you right here, it’s going to be a long, long primary season.”