Those close to Paterson say he insists that he will run in 2010 but “with on major caveat.”
"He's in it, he's planning to put the team together, but he's said if his numbers don't improve by the beginning of the year, he would have to reassess his campaign," a Democratic source said.
On top of his sagging poll numbers, financial filings for the campaign are due mid-January.
"I think they're really, really worried about their January filing, that [state Attorney General Andrew] Cuomo is just going to blow them out of the water," a Paterson's finance committee member said, the paper reported. "[Paterson's] just not an easy guy to raise money for right now."
Close friends say that Paterson does not want to be pushed out. “Whatever happens, he’s definitely going to do it on his own timetable,” the close friend said, according to the Daily News.
Even though the Obama administration apparently prefers Paterson to bow out of the race, Paterson’s closest advisers insist he continue fighting.
Paterson advisers say that the governor can win back support by showing how he is handling the budget crisis, drug law reforms and policies on same-sex marriage. Campaign advertisements will air a year before the election to get this message out.
Democrats gave governor space after the president's message become public, but that is likely to change after the mayoral race next week because Democrat will likely want Paterson out.
Once Cuomo gives the word he will run for governor, several Democratic law makers said they will vouch for his candidacy.
"Nobody wants to see it go to the state convention next spring and the governor not get on the ballot, but it could happen if he doesn't quit the race," a city Democrat told the Daily News.
The governor “has said, and continues to say, that he is running in 2010,” Paterson campaign manager, Richard Fife, told the Daily News.