Booker hits fundraising threshold for December debate after surge of post-debate donations

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White House hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) hit the fundraising threshold for the December primary debate after seeing a spike in donations following his appearance at Wednesday night’s debate.

The New Jersey senator raised more than $500,000 since last night’s event, marking the campaign’s best nine hours of fundraising to date, his campaign announced Thursday. The spike helped Booker cross the 200,000 unique donor threshold needed to qualify for the December debate in Los Angeles.

“Last night on the debate stage, Cory Booker set himself apart from other Democrats in the field by showing how his lived experiences make him the best candidate to unite the party and beat Donald Trump,” said Booker’s campaign manager Addisu Demissie. “Cory’s message clearly struck a chord with Democratic voters who want to make sure his voice is a part of the next debate.” 

To make the December debate, candidates have to amass the support of at least 200,000 unique donors and register support of 4 percent or more in four qualifying polls or 6 percent in two approved early voting state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina. 

Despite reaching the fundraising threshold, Booker has yet to poll high enough to qualify. Though he’s long been seen as a rising star within the Democratic Party since his tenure as Newark mayor, the New Jersey Democrat has stagnated in the middle tier of most polls and seen his fundraising lag behind that of several of his competitors. 

Being left off the stage could cause a campaign to further stall in polling and see its fundraising dry up. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) dropped out of the race after it became clear she would not make the September debate stage, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ultimately withdrew from the primary after finding no path toward securing a spot at the October debate.

Seemingly wary of the risks posed by missing the next debate, Booker used his closing remarks at Wednesday’s debate to plead with people to support his campaign. 

“Keep me on this stage, keep me in this race, it is time we fight, and fight together. Please go to,” he said.

So far six candidates have qualified for the December debate: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

Tags Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Bill de Blasio Cory Booker Cory Booker Democratic debates Donald Trump election 2020 Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Kirsten Gillibrand Pete Buttigieg

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