“might not be in this race for much longer”
Published 12:35 PM EDT Sep 21, 2019
WASHINGTON – Sen. Cory Booker’s presidential campaign warned Saturday in a memo that he “might not be in this race for much longer” if there’s no fundraising surge by the end of this quarter – which is in just 10 days.
Addisu Demissie, Booker’s campaign manager, wrote to the senator’s supporters saying that “Cory 2020 needs to raise an additional $1.7 million by September 30 to be in a position to build the organization necessary to continue competing for the nomination. Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward.”
“The next 10 days will determine whether Cory Booker can stay in this race and compete to win the nomination,” the memo states.
Currently, Booker is not polling in the top five candidates, a group that has been consistently dominated by former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris, as well as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Booker has already qualified for the October DNC debates, and the memo noted that he raised $1.4 million in the final 10 days of March to end the first quarter. The memo also mentioned that “other important voices in the field” are facing similar dilemmas with current fundraising.
Demissie explained the campaign has the money to continue at the current pace, but they need more to “scale up” operations before voting starts early next year, reiterating that his candidate doesn’t have the desire to continue running if he doesn’t think he can win.
It mentions that “only four campaigns” have the “money necessary to build and sustain the national organization needed to win,” referring to some of those top candidates.
“We aren’t among them today, but with your help, we can be,” the memo reads, adding the campaign knows it will be a “herculean challenge” to raise $1.7 million in a little more than a week.
Demissie wrote that if the “campaign is not in a financial position to grow” Booker is “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.”
Booker acknowledged the memo on Twitter.
“It’s an unusual move for a campaign like ours to be this transparent, but there can be no courage without vulnerability,” he wrote Saturday. “I want people to see where we are and understand that we have a pathway to victory, but I can’t walk it alone.”
“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,” Demissie wrote. “This is a real, unvarnished look under the hood of our operation at a level of transparency unprecedented in modern presidential campaigns.”
Just the day before, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out of the race after raising $1.1 million by the second quarter Federal Elections Commissions deadline in July, well behind the totals of most other candidates.