New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that, after failing to qualify for the Democratic debate in September, it’s tough to see how his presidential campaign could continue should he also fail to qualify for the October debate.
“So, obviously, I wanted to get into the September debates – that wasn’t possible,” de Blasio said at a New York City mayoral news conference on crime statistics.
“I think the logical thing to say is, you know, I’m going to go and try to get into the October debates,” he added. “And if I can, I think that’s a good reason to keep going forward and if I can’t, I think it’s really tough to conceive of continuing. So that’s the way I’m looking at it right now.”
To qualify for the October 15 debate in Ohio, candidates must meet the same heightened qualification threshold as the debate set for September 12 – a 2% polling threshold in four qualifying polls and at least 130,000 unique donors, including 400 donors each from at least 20 states.
Qualifying polls released between June 28 and 11:59 p.m. ET on October 1 will count toward certification to participate in the debate and certification materials will be due by 11 a.m. ET on October 2 to the Democratic National Committee.
The mayor cast doubt on the importance of the debates in getting ahead in voter polls.
“I don’t think the debates are the end-all, be-all, and I’ve said that, and I think the polling really bears it out,” he said. “The debates have actually in the end had relatively little impact on the polling, but they are kind of the main street of the dialogue.”
De Blasio polled at 1% in CNN’s most recent national poll, released in July – though 3% indicated interest in learning more about him. He has not yet received the qualifying 2% of support in any poll accepted by the DNC.
He participated in a CNN town hall last month, touting “Medicare for All” and pledging to make gun legislation a central issue if elected. He also talked about there not being much of a divide between rural and urban voters.
CNN’s Paul LeBlanc, Dan Merica, Meg Wagner and Grace Sparks contributed to this report.