Cory Booker Will Drop Out Of Presidential Race Within Days If He Can’t Raise $2M, Memo Reveals

Cory Booker at a political event.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Cory Booker’s days in the 2020 presidential race could be numbered.

On Saturday, NBC News reported on a memo circulating to the New Jersey senator’s campaign staff saying that he will be dropping out of the race within days if he is not able to raise $2 million. The memo came from campaign manager Addisu Demissie, saying that weak fundraising in the early part of the month left the campaign on shaky ground.

“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.”

The campaign’s fast growth could end up being its undoing. As the report noted, Booker was one of the first candidates to build campaign infrastructure in key early states and has been particularly active in Iowa, but this has also created an expensive operation that is now struggling to withstand the dip in fundraising.

Though Booker was once considered a potential frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in 2020 ever since Donald Trump’s shocking victory in 2016, his campaign has struggled to meet those expectations. He remains solidly behind Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders in polls, languishing in low single digits. Though Booker has been able to stay above cuts for Democratic debates, his future remains uncertain.

It was not clear how NBC News obtained the memo from Booker’s campaign, but the release could be a bit of strategic play from the campaign itself. Booker has appealed to supporters and potential donors many times during the campaign, painting himself as the most capable of taking on Donald Trump. His potential withdrawal from the race would be seen as the biggest exit to date, and that possibility has led to some anxiety from Democratic strategists.

Minyon Moore, a veteran strategist not aligned with any candidate in the race, told NBC News that Booker’s early exit would be harmful for the field.

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“I think that it would be a travesty not to have him in the race,” she said. “We need him in the race. His race is one factor, but his voice is another factor.”

The 2020 Democratic field has been historically large, with more than 20 candidates until recently, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s exit from the race dropped it back down to 19. As The Inquisitr reported, there have already been a number of big names to drop out, including New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.