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De Blasio hopes social media will save flailing presidential campaign

2019-08-23

Democratic presidential candidate New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, speaks with people, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, at the Hillsborough County Democrats Summer Picnic, in Greenfield, N.H. (Steven Senne/AP)

Blame it on social media.

Mayor de Blasio is holding on to his White House dream even as other Dems at the back of the pack quit because he believes Facebook, Twitter and the like can turn his campaign around.

“Anything can happen because we’re in the age of social media,” he said at an unrelated press conference Thursday.

“I’m not sure I would have given you the same answer 20 years ago,” Hizzoner continued. “But today, where people go from 100% unknown to widely known in the course of days, we have to understand social media has changed this entirely.”

The comments came after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper bowed out of the race due to a lack of support.

De Blasio deflected when asked what he would do differently than those candidates to turn his campaign around, saying, “I am going all over the country to talk about things that I think matter a lot, and that message gets a very strong response.”

New York pols and the press have pilloried the mayor for his presidential ambitions from the start. An August poll from Siena College showed just 26 percent of voters in the state have a favorable view of him. He hasn’t gained popularity nationwide, either. The latest 2020 poll from Quinnipiac University showed him scoring zero percent among Democratic primary candidates.

Democratic presidential candidate New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio poses for photo with a woman after he delivered campaign speech at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on August 11, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. 22 of the 23 politicians seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination will be visiting the fair this week, six months ahead of the all-important Iowa caucuses.
Democratic presidential candidate New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio poses for photo with a woman after he delivered campaign speech at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on August 11, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. 22 of the 23 politicians seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination will be visiting the fair this week, six months ahead of the all-important Iowa caucuses. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

De Blasio seemed to have in mind the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens), who catapulted to national fame thanks in part to her social media savvy.

“If the message is getting through — there’s more and more opportunities to spread the message — then anything can happen because we’re in the age of social media,” he said.

Former Congressman Julián Castro of Texas clinched the last of 10 spots for the next presidential debate, scheduled for next month. In contrast to the low barrier to entry for the first two debates, which featured 20 candidates, in order to enter the next round, candidates needed to have at least 130,000 donors and poll numbers of at least 2 percent.

De Blasio failed to qualify, but said he isn’t relying on a “a classic numerical metrical benchmark” to gauge the success of his campaign.

He pointed to recent TV appearances as a sign of success, though they have gotten mixed reviews.

2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio visits FOX Business Network’s "Bulls & Bears" on August 13, 2019 in New York City.
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio visits FOX Business Network’s "Bulls & Bears" on August 13, 2019 in New York City. (BAUZEN/Getty Images)

De Blasio claimed “people reacted very, very strongly… and in many ways very positively” to his recent contentious interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News.

“You don’t know how many more of those kind of things are going to happen that start to change dynamics,” the mayor said.

He also plugged a town hall to be broadcast on CNN on Sunday.

“I actually really enjoy town halls,” the mayor said. “Everyone tune in to CNN.”