Cory Booker Suggests Pete Buttigieg Won’t Win Nomination Based On Decades-Past Polling Results

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks at the Liberty and Justice Celebration at the Wells Fargo Arena on November 01, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has been surging in the primary and came in second place in a recent New Hampshire poll, trailing Bernie Sanders. Despite this, some have suggested that Buttigieg is peaking too early, and fellow candidate Cory Booker — who has been struggling in the polls — appears to agree that he’s not on track to win.

During an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta, Booker was pressed about why he was lagging in the polls, and why Buttigieg is doing so well in Iowa, Newsweek reports.

“Look, I’ll leave that to the pundits but we know this: the way people are measuring ‘back of the pack, front of the pack’ is with polling. And never in your lifetime or mine has there ever been someone who has gone, at this point in the November, from leading in the polls, to the White House from the Democratic Party.”

Booker then compared himself to Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and other successful Democratic nominees from recent decades, suggesting that his performance is more aligned with theirs at a similar point in the primary.

“What’s making the difference for us, where we’re seeing this post-debate surge is in fundraising, and matter of fact, we’re number three in net favorability.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Booker was shown a recent Super PAC attack ad aimed at Buttigieg, which is set to air in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The ad uses Booker as a comparison to Buttigieg, as both are Rhodes Scholars.

“He’s a Rhodes Scholar, a successful mayor, a uniter…no, not that guy, it’s Cory Booker,” the ad says.

According to Booker, the ad, which was created by the United We Win PAC, caught him somewhat by surprise as it was the first time he had seen it.

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Booker has disavowed super PAC funding, which led to the shut down of a pro-booker super PAC, Dream United, on Wednesday. Following the shutdown, the super PAC’s website wrote that it still believes Booker is the one to lead the United States but acknowledged that his opposition to super PACs pushed them to close their doors.

The organization reportedly had a tough time raising money and the $1.125 million that it did raise came mostly from Susan Sandler, the wife of the super PAC’s founder, Steve Phillips, who previously raised money for Obama. Before shutting down, the group’s goal was to raise $10 million.

Numerous other Democratic presidential candidates have disavowed super PACs, with one of the primary reasons being they aren’t required to disclose their donors.