Mayor Bill de Blasio’s long-shot run for president may have a defined end date: Oct. 1.
Mr. de Blasio, speaking at an unrelated news conference on Wednesday, said it would be “tough to conceive” continuing his campaign if he doesn’t qualify for the Democratic debate in October.
“I think the logical thing to say is I’m going to go and try and make the October debates and if I can, that’s a good reason to keep going forward, and if I can’t, I think it’s really tough to conceive of continuing,” Mr. de Blasio said.
It was the first time Mr. de Blasio has publicly contemplated an end to his presidential bid.
The shift comes after Mr. de Blasio, who is in his sixth year as mayor of New York City, did not make the third upcoming Democratic debate after qualifying for the first two.
Candidates will, by Oct. 1, need to have 130,000 unique donors, with 400 donors per state in at least 20 states, and register at least 2 percent support in four national polls or in statewide polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
The requirements are the same that applied to the Sept. 12 debate. Ten candidates met the thresholds, and several who did not, including Mr. de Blasio, suggested that the requirements were too stringent.
The mayor has struggled to break zero percent in most polls and remains at the bottom of Democratic presidential candidates when it comes to fund-raising.
But the mayor has refused to count himself out. He has said that today’s politics can be driven by a single moment that could catapult a candidate from known to unknown in 72 hours.