The Slatest

Cory Booker Warns Presidential Run Could End Soon

Democratic presidential candidate and New Jersey senator Cory Booker speaks at an LGBTQ presidential forum at Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium on September 20, 2019 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Democratic presidential candidate and New Jersey senator Cory Booker speaks at an LGBTQ presidential forum at Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium on September 20, 2019 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The next 10 days will be critical for Sen. Cory Booker, who warned his presidential run may come to an end if he isn’t able to raise nearly $2 million by the end of the month. “We have reached a critical moment, and time is running out,” campaign manager Addisu Demissie warned in a memo to staff and supporters. “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.”

Booker confirmed that was the case in a series of tweets, acknowledging it was unusual “for a campaign like ours to be this transparent” but he insisted that “there can be no courage without vulnerability.” Booker specified that his campaign doesn’t “see a legitimate long-term path forward” unless the campaign can raise $1.7 million by the end of September. The New Jersey senator insisted that “this isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt” but rather “a real, unvarnished look under the hood of our campaign.”

Despite the assurances that this transparency on the campaign finances was not a stunt, it is clearly a strategy to get voters to support Booker’s campaign. “The campaign is betting voters, including those who may have Booker second or third on their lists, will respond well to the campaign’s dire warning and get off the sidelines to help him sustain his campaign and continue to have a voice in the primary,” notes Politico.

Although the campaign could continue at the size it is now, Booker reportedly doesn’t want to stay in the race unless he builds enough of a structure to actually win. “If our campaign is not in a financial position to grow, he’s not going to continue to consume resources and attention that can be used to focus on beating Donald Trump, which needs to be everyone’s first priority,” Demissie wrote. Booker has so far failed to gain much momentum in the Democratic primary and averages 2.8 percent support in polls, according to the Real Clear Politics average.

Booker has already qualified for the fourth Democratic primary debate scheduled for October 15.