Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips brushed off low poll numbers and carried on with his long-shot campaign in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
“Well, people don’t know who I am yet,” the Minnesota congressman said.
Phillips, who launched his bid in late October, again accused the national Democratic party of suppressing candidates.
A new CNN/UNH poll found 69% of likely Democratic primary voters say they will write in President Joe Biden’s name, compared with 7% who plan to support Phillips and 6% who say they will vote for author Marianne Williamson.
Phillips told reporters before touring a facility in New Hampshire for homeless veterans he’s “listening to people” and “going to do more of it,” again slamming Biden for not campaigning in the Granite State.
“Why would I do something differently? I’m not going to tell you that I’m the frontrunner or that I’m not a long-shot. Of course, I am. But I think the president is not just missing an opportunity, he’s missing the moment,” he continued, adding if polls on primary night show he’s at double digits in New Hampshire, “that’s going to be a heck of a good start” against “an incumbent president who should be getting 90% of the vote.”
Asked how he’ll win over more support, when the majority of likely Democratic voters have made up their minds, Phillips answered, “my job is not to persuade anybody, it’s not to change their minds. My job is to practice democracy.”
He said he would “defer” to how New Hampshire voters feel, but alluded to the Democratic National Committee’s warning to the state party that its primary would be meaningless, calling it “not just a dereliction of duty, it’s just downright dangerous.”
Phillips later told reporters that though the DNC is not barring New Hampshire from holding a Democratic primary altogether, he believes the party is defying democracy because “there’s nothing a single voter in the state of New Hampshire could have done” to change state’s primary date.
“It’s a political party imposing itself and suppressing voters,” he said, claiming that if Republican party did the same thing, he would be making the same proclamations “even more loudly.”
The Minnesota Democrat started the day by parking his “Government Repair Truck” vehicle along a major street in Manchester in below freezing temperatures, hoping to hold “coffee conversations” with voters outside of a convention hosted by New England College.
Phillips later reshared a post on X that detailed how no voters showed up.
Phillips said his campaign experience was the “most joyful and invigorating American journey imaginable,” adding, “I’ve got lots of leftover coffee, if anyone’s thirsty.”
Campaign spokesperson Katie Dolan told CNN, “When it proved too cold, we headed inside to chat with voters indoors.”
The campaign shared a photo of Phillips posing with a group of young people. It was not clear if they were old enough to vote.