‘The debates are important, there’s a lot of other factors in how … a campaign of this importance emerges…’
(Anna Sanders, New York Daily News) New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce he’s running for president next week, according to three sources with knowledge of the plans.
The 2020 announcement could come as early as de Blasio’s birthday on Wednesday, when he’ll turn 58, said one source.
The kickoff was initially expected this week but was pushed back, according to another source.
Early reports, including from those close to the mayor’s staff, hinted that there was little enthusiasm for a run outside of his closest inner circle. However, the radical liberal has continued to be his own cheerleader in deciding to enter the already saturated primary field.
De Blasio’s federal political action committee, Fairness PAC, recently polled Iowa voters. The PAC also bankrolled the mayor’s recent travel to key early voting primary states, including trips to Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Fairness PAC spokesman Mike Casca, who took an unpaid leave of absence from City Hall last month to work for the committee, said “no decision” has been made yet and wouldn’t explicitly deny that de Blasio was announcing a campaign next week.
“Very hard to announce something without a decision—nearly impossible, some might say,” Casca said in a text message on Friday.
De Blasio would be joining a crowded field with at least 21 other Democratic candidates—and a handful more who haven’t declared yet. The mayor may not even qualify for the first debates, which have been capped by the Democratic National Committee at 20 participants split over two consecutive nights.
To get on the debate stage, candidates must either earn 1% or more support in three particular polls or hit certain thresholds for campaign donations. De Blasio said Friday he doesn’t believe he qualifies for the debates yet.
“The debates are important, there’s a lot of other factors in how … a campaign of this importance emerges,” he said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” Friday.
De Blasio said Thursday he planned to make a decision this month after toying with a White House bid for half a year.
How his wife and two children feel about a campaign is his “number one concern,” but de Blasio said the field and polling will also be taken into account.
Polls of Democrats nationally and New Yorkers in the five boroughs show little enthusiasm for a de Blasio 2020 campaign. A whopping 76% of city voters don’t want him to run for president next year, according to one Quinnipiac University poll released last month.
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