never tell me the odds
September 12, 2019

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio after failing to qualify for Thursday's Democratic debate is crossing his fingers his campaign's turning point is just around the corner.

Ahead of the third 2020 debate, NBC News spoke with some of the Democratic candidates who weren't invited because they didn't reach two percent support in four qualifying polls and reach 130,000 unique donors, including de Blasio, who has generally been polling at between zero and one percent nationally.

So what compels someone like de Blasio to even stay in the race, NBC wondered? At a recent event, the New York City mayor discussed the "tantalizing" notion of hitting two percent in the polls, noting that he's "been at 1 percent, like, 10 times," and suggesting he's essentially sticking it out because there's always the chance he'll suddenly pick up steam.

"An hour from now, one of those special moments could happen,” de Blasio said. “I'm not meaning that to be like believing in magic. I'm just saying, we just don't know. So the way you maximize the chance for that is to keep staying out there and saying what you believe."

The fourth Democratic debate is scheduled to take place in October, and candidates have until until Oct. 1 to qualify for it. The New York City mayor previously said it would be "tough to conceive" of continuing his campaign if he misses the fourth debate, too, meaning he's got less than three weeks to conjure up this elusive special moment. The clock's ticking. Brendan Morrow

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