Deval Patrick senior adviser: 'Path is narrower but there is a path there'

A senior adviser to Deval PatrickDeval PatrickDeval Patrick launches initiative to spur grassroots organizing growth OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court sides with oil companies in Baltimore case| White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear, carbon capture projects | Biden administration to develop performance standards for federal buildings Approving Kristen Clarke's nomination should be a no-brainer MORE's presidential campaign pushed back Tuesday at suggestions that the former Massachusetts governor has little chance of winning the Democratic nomination.

“The path is narrower but there is a path there,” Calloway told Hill.TV on Tuesday in response to a question over Patrick’s failure to qualify for the November and December debates.

“The pundits and the pollsters won’t tell us who to vote for,” Calloway added later. “We will not allow them to determine the next Democratic nominee.”

Calloway added that he is optimistic Patrick will qualify for the January debate, but added that the debates “aren’t everything,” pointing to an overall decline in viewership.

“I don’t think that everybody is breaking out based upon the debates at this point — viewership has declined,” he said. “Perhaps it picks up as we near Iowa and the early states but the debates aren’t determinative by any means.”

The fifth Democratic debate last month was the least watched-debate of the 2020 election cycle.

The event, which was hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post in Atlanta, registered 6.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. This is 1.9 million fewer viewers than the last Democratic debate on Oct. 15., when 8.5 million tuned into CNN.

Patrick is one of several 2020 hopefuls to get a late entry into the race. Shortly after launching his campaign in November, former New York City mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergDemocrats' combative approach to politics is doing more harm than good Battling over Biden's agenda: A tale of two Democratic parties Budget impasses mark a critical turning point in Biden's presidency MORE announced his presidential bid. 

Billionaire Tom SteyerTom SteyerYouth voting organization launches M registration effort in key battlegrounds Overnight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline MORE, meanwhile, threw his hat into the ring in July and has participated in the past two debates. Steyer is also poised to take the debate stage in Thursday’s debate, alongside Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter FDA proposes rule to offer over-the-counter hearing aids MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Progressives see budget deal getting close after Biden meeting MORE (I-Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegEmanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block Buttigieg says delay in climate action will cost lives amid reports of Manchin roadblock MORE (D), businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang weighs in on Dave Chappelle: Artists should get 'wide berth' for self-expression Yang says he has left Democratic Party Yang says presidential bid 'messed with my head' MORE and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Biden holds meetings to resurrect his spending plan Senate Democrats ask for details on threats against election workers On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE (D-Minn.).

So far, Patrick has yet to register in most national polls. According to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Bloomberg is performing the best out of the three Democratic candidates followed by Steyer at 1.3 percent.

—Tess Bonn