Booker's Campaign Faces Fundraising Woes

Campaign manager says there may be no 'long-term path forward'

Sen. Cory Booker / Getty Images
September 21, 2019

Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) may have to drop out of the Democratic primary if his campaign can't raise $1.7 million by the end of the month, according to a memo from his campaign manager to staff.

Campaign manager Addisu Demissie delivered a warning in his memo, saying Booker had weaker than expected fundraising in early September.

"Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward," Demissie wrote. "The next 10 days will determine whether Cory Booker can stay in this race."

Booker echoed his campaign manager's sentiments about his campaign facing financial troubles, saying, "There can be no courage without vulnerability."

While Demissie says the campaign has enough money to continue campaigning at their current pace, Booker doesn't want to stay in the race if there is no path to winning the nomination or competing with the other Democratic candidates, especially if they can't expand operations before voting starts in early 2020.

He later emphasizes the memo isn't "an end-of-quarter stunt."

"I want to be clear: This isn't an end-of-quarter stunt or another one of those memos from a campaign trying to spin the press," he wrote. "This is a real, unvarnished look under the hood of our operation at a level of transparency unprecedented in modern presidential campaigns."

Booker was one of the first 2020 Democratic candidates to build a strong operation in early states and has been praised by local activists in Iowa, but his poll numbers have been struggling nationally. According to RealClearPolitics, he averages under 3 percent in the polls.