Although he won’t be on the debate stage next month, Democratic presidential hopeful John Delaney on Wednesday vowed to press on with his campaign.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said on MSNBC.
“I’m the only candidate who was a leader in business and a leader in Congress — that puts me in a position to actually sustain my campaign more than the rest of the field,” said Mr. Delaney, a former congressman from Maryland. “I think the field’s going to get a lot smaller, and there’s going to be a smaller number of candidates, and voters are going to focus on them more, and they’re going to start [focusing] on ideas.”
Mr. Delaney also likened the Democratic National Committee, which set the rules of the road for the Democratic presidential debates, to Thanos, the genocidal villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“You know, the way the DNC decided to do these debates is they effectively cut out half the field. I don’t think, ultimately, voters want that to happen,” he said. “I think they’re kind of like Thanos, snapping their finger and trying to get rid of half the field.”
The DNC has defended the system and said candidates knew the polling and fundraising requirements to get on the debate stage well before Wednesday, which is the cutoff day for candidates to qualify for the next presidential debate in September.
A pair of new surveys released Wednesday morning didn’t help any of the candidates who were short of the 2% support they needed in four qualifying polls to get onstage. Candidates also need to secure contributions from at least 130,000 donors to qualify.
That means the next debate will likely be limited to a single night of 10 candidates. The first two debates, which had less stringent polling and fundraising requirements, were held over two days, with 10 candidates participating on each night.
Mr. Delaney failed to hit 1% support in either survey.
“First of all, we have a lot of polls where we do better than 0%,” he said. “I think we’re doing fine in the early states — that’s what matters. We’re going to stay in — we’ve got the resources to do it.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts both dropped out of the 2020 presidential race in the last week.