BOULDER, Colo. — After was brutally boring Republican presidential undercard debate, none of the candidates barely registering in the polls expressed any intention of even considering dropping out of the Republican nomination.
All four of the participants in the second-tier debate — which means none has been able to average at least 2.5 percent nationally to make the main stage debate — showed up in the spin room afterward and all somehow expressed some level of optimism about the state of their campaigns.
“No, not at all,” former New York Gov. George Pataki, who has just garnered one percent support in one of the last five national presidential polls, said when The Daily Caller asked him if he had a metric to evaluate whether he should continue on after the debate. “You know, in fact I was laughing because all these campaigns are cutting staff and cutting salaries and running out of money — we didn’t have any money from the beginning! So we don’t have to worry about that.”
Asked by a reporter whether he had a better chance of winning the Republican nomination than the New York Mets have of winning the World Series, Pataki conceded he didn’t, but then went on to say that he had a “decent chance.”
“And we’re just going to keep plugging along and hopefully in the end win the race,” he said.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also made clear that there is no chance that the results of the debate will make him consider dropping out.
“Look, we’re in this race to win this race,” he said to a group of reporters. “We’re in this race based not only on the fact that we bring experience, but the best ideas.”
“We campaigned very hard on the ground there,” Jindal said, adding that he is “building a movement” in the state.
South Carolina Sen. [crscore]Lindsey Graham[/crscore], who many thought won the last undercard debate but regularly registers less than one percent in national polls, also made it clear he has no intention of calling it a day.
“It’s a process. It’s October for God’s sake,” he told reporters in the spin room. “[crscore]John McCain[/crscore] was fifth in a four person race. You know, my daddy’s never run for president, I’ve never had a TV show. It takes a while. So at the end of the day my belief is I would be a good nominee.”
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who was the runner up for the Republican nomination in 2012, said he knew from the beginning the campaign would be a slog, but he has every intention of making it to the Iowa caucuses, which he won last time around.
“I knew when we decided to launch again that it would be starting from the back of the pack because I hadn’t been involved and engaged in the national debate as much as others and, you know, I was prepared to do that and we’ll see how it turns out,” he said.
Asked why his 2012 supporters don’t appear to coming back to him, he said just give it some more time.
“A lot of them did. But, you know, some of them didn’t,” he explained. “A lot of them are sort of going through the different models on the show room and, you know, I think we’re still on a lot of people’s lists and when it comes down to it I feel very comfortable that we’re going to be at the top of their list when the time comes.”
The next Republican debate, hosted by the Fox Business Network and The Wall Street Journal, will take place is less than two weeks and it will feature an undercard debate for candidates not averaging 2.5 percent nationally, but registering at least one percent in one of the four most recent national polls through Nov. 4.
All four candidates who participated in Wednesday night’s undercard debate are extraordinarily more likely to not make the next undercard debate than they are to make the next main stage debate.