Cory Booker Campaign Warns that Without Fundraising Surge, He's Toast

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., participates in the second of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A memo from Cory Booker’s campaign manager to staff and supporters is warning that unless the candidate can raise $2 million before the end of the month, Booker will be forced to drop out.


Politico reports that Booker’s top campaign aide, Addisu Demissie, told supporters, “We have reached a critical moment, and time is running out.” He added, “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.”

The bottom line, Demissie said, is that “we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward” if the campaign can’t raise another $1.7 million by Sept. 30, the third-quarter fundraising deadline.

“This isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt or another one of those memos from a campaign trying to spin the press,” he added. “This is a real, unvarnished look under the hood of our operation at a level of transparency unprecedented in modern presidential campaigns.”

Well, that’s debatable. In fact, this could very well be a gimmick by the campaign to open the wallets of supporters. The “transparency” Demissie is talking about falls a little short.

Demissie made clear on a conference call with reporters later Saturday that the campaign isn’t out of money or at risk of running out of funds. “That’s the budget” to expand in October and November, he said of the $1.7 million fundraising target. “That’s essentially the number we need to grow our operation both here in headquarters and the early states to credibly compete for the nomination.”

That money would also go toward ballot access, delegate slating and competing in March primaries, he said.

The campaign is framing the memo as unprecedented transparency, but it’s also a strategy to juice lackluster fundraising. 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.


Booker hasn’t caught fire largely because he’s been unable to differentiate himself from the other radical leftists in the campaign. While the candidate is black, he has few other selling points to make to activists who are in the Democratic Party driver’s seat. He doesn’t throw red meat like Bernie Sanders. He hasn’t intellectualized radical left issues like Elizabeth Warren. And Biden supporters aren’t very attracted to him at all.

The latest polls show Booker attracting less than 3% of the vote. It’s even worse for the candidate in state polls. In South Carolina, with its large black population, Booker is only getting 4%.

Booker is seen as too “cool” by many of the radicals. If you’re not breathing fire and brimstone, screaming at Trump and calling for his head, you just don’t get very far in today’s Democratic Party. If there weren’t so many candidates, Booker would get a little more attention. But as it is, even if he raises the $2 million he says he needs, he’s likely to disappear shortly after the Iowa caucuses.



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