Booker raises over $6 million in third quarter after last-minute cash infusion

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) raised more than $6 million for his presidential bid in the third quarter of 2019, his campaign said Tuesday.

Booker’s financial haul was bolstered by an eleventh-hour fundraising surge that came after his campaign warned that his bid would end unless it was able to raise $1.7 million in the final days of September. 

{mosads}Booker eventually surpassed that goal, his campaign said, bringing in more than $2.1 million in the last 10 days of the third quarter, which spanned July 1 through Sept. 30. All told, September was Booker’s strongest fundraising month to date. 

“You can do the math: more than a third of what we raised this quarter came in the last ten days, the best fundraising stretch of our campaign,” Booker’s campaign manager Addisu Demissie said in a memo to supporters on Tuesday. 

“To the tens of thousands who chipped in and raised your voices in support of Cory’s candidacy this year and during this critical period: thank you.”

The cash infusion comes as he is dwindling in the low single digits in most public polls. With the Iowa caucuses just four months away, he will need to scale up his campaign operations in the early primary and caucus states that play crucial roles in determining the eventual nominee.

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Demissie insisted that Booker still has a path to the nomination through the four early nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, and that the campaign would ramp up its operations in those states in the coming weeks. 

The more than $6 million haul surpasses his totals from the first and second quarters of the year.

Between January and March, Booker brought in $5.1 million in contributions, and between April and June he raised $4.5 million, according to federal filings.

But the third-quarter total is well short of those of at least two of his competitors in the Democratic primary contest. Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign announced on Tuesday that he had raised $25.3 million over the past three months.

And South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is expected to report raising $19.1 million in that same time frame.

No other candidate has publicly disclosed their third-quarter fundraising numbers yet. Booker’s campaign did not say how much cash it has on hand, nor how much it spent in the third quarter. Demissie also cautioned that the fundraising total could increase slightly, because the campaign was still totaling up recent contributions.

Last month, Booker’s campaign warned in a memo to supporters that, unless he raised at least $1.7 million in the 10 days before the Sept. 30 fundraising deadline, he would no longer have a viable path to the Democratic nomination. 

In a call with reporters shortly after the memo was distributed, Demissie acknowledged that the campaign had not run out of funds, nor was it at risk of doing so. But he said the campaign desperately needed a fundraising boost to scale up its operations in early October.

“If we’re not able to build the campaign organization, which means raise the money that we need to win the nomination, Cory’s not going to continue running and consuming resources,” he said at the time.

In the memo released on Tuesday, Demissie said the campaign would use the cash infusion to hire 40 new staffers over the next six weeks, as well as open new field offices in early primary and caucus states. He also said that the campaign will make a six-figure investment in building its email list, an invaluable fundraising tool. 

The campaign also signaled that it is wasting no time in the money race. Demissie said the campaign has set a roughly $3 million fundraising goal for October. That will cover the cost of the campaign’s “new growth budget for the month” and allow the campaign to “make additional growth investments” in November and December, Demissie wrote.

In a subsequent conference call, he said that it would cost an estimated $7.2 million to keep the campaign going through the fourth quarter of 2019.

“We have the funds we need to grow,” he said. “We need more. We need to fund this through the quarter.”

Tags 2020 election Bernie Sanders Cory Booker Democratic primary Fundraising Pete Buttigieg third quarter

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