Cory Booker’s Campaign May Be on Its Last Legs

Sen. Cory Booker flips veggie burgers at the Polk County Democrats’ Steak Fry in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 21, 2019.
Photo: Nati Harnik (AP)

The race for the Democratic nomination for president is getting tighter, and the next one to drop out might be Sen. Cory Booker.

According to a memo to staff and supporters published on Saturday, Booker’s campaign needs to raise $1.7 million by Sept. 30 to close out the third quarter, or the senator likely will drop out. That leaves a narrow window of less than 10 days to take action.

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“Here’s the real talk: We have reached a critical moment, and time is running out,” the memo, written by Booker’s campaign manager, Addisu Demissie, said. “It’s now or never: The next 10 days will determine whether Cory Booker can stay in this race and compete to win the nomination.”

Demissie continued:

While we invested early in building an outstanding organization in our Newark headquarters and the February early states, other campaigns have, in recent weeks, surpassed us in scale and begun spending on paid persuasion efforts online and on television.

Between that and the likely increase in the DNC’s debate-qualifying thresholds, which would require significant funds to meet, it is probable there are only four campaigns in this race with the money necessary to build and sustain the national organization needed to win the nomination.

I’ll be blunt: We aren’t among them today, but with your help, we can be.

According to Politico, the acknowledgment is both a self-described act of transparency by the Booker campaign and a strategy to boost badly needed fundraising. Also, Booker’s polling has hovered at about 3% nationally, while other candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have continued to dominate the race.

In addition to these three candidates, Pete Buttigieg also is strong among the field in terms of fundraising, according to Reuters.

In related news, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that he is ending his presidential bid.

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Booker joined the remaining Democratic candidates on Saturday at the Polk County Steak Fry in Des Moines, Iowa, the largest caucus event in the state so far in this cycle. He delivered an impassioned speech centered on his message of love and on his family’s struggles while he was growing up.

He also attempted to draw a distinction between Democrats and Donald Trump. “So, this election, we Democrats have to understand we cannot define ourselves by what we’re against or who we’re against. We must define ourselves by who we are and what we are for,” he said.

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