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

A senior adviser to Deval Patrick’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 Bloomberg announced his presidential bid. 

Billionaire Tom Steyer, 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 Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), businessman Andrew Yang and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (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

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