Booker says he will not make December debate stage

Booker says he will not make December debate stage
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Lawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-N.J.) said Thursday he is unlikely to qualify for the sixth Democratic presidential debate later this month, but insisted he still has a path to victory in the nominating contest despite lackluster fundraising and waning poll numbers.

“Today is the deadline for the DNC's December debate qualifying threshold—and while I may not be on the debate stage next Thursday, thanks to the outpouring of support over the past few weeks, we know there’s a path to victory, and we no longer need the debate stage to get there,” Booker tweeted. 

Democratic presidential candidates have until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday to meet the qualifying criteria for the Dec. 19 debate. So far, seven candidates are expected to be onstage: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll The Memo: Political world grapples with long coronavirus shutdown The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Sanders still sees 'narrow path' to Democratic presidential nomination Tenants call on lawmakers to pass rent freezes MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Biden faces pesky enthusiasm challenge despite big primary numbers MORE (D-Mass.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Hillicon Valley: FCC chief proposes 0M telehealth program | Twitter takes down posts promoting anti-malaria drugs for coronavirus| Whole Foods workers plan Tuesday strike MORE (D-Minn.), former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang to launch issues-based podcast Majority of young Americans support universal basic income, public healthcare: poll Granting cash payments is a conservative principle MORE and billionaire philanthropist Tom SteyerTom SteyerProgressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Candidates want data privacy rules, except for their own campaigns Budowsky: Biden should pull together a 'dream team of rivals' MORE.


The Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised the qualifying criteria for the sixth debate. Candidates have to amass support from at least 200,000 unique donors and register 4 percent support in four approved polls or 6 percent in two approved polls in early primary and caucus states.

While Booker has met the DNC’s donor threshold for the December debate, he’s nowhere close to meeting the polling requirement. He hasn’t registered 4 percent in a committee-approved poll in months.

Booker’s failure to qualify for the debate stage next week will mark the first time he will not appear at one of this year’s DNC-sanctioned debates. Instead of traveling to Los Angeles, where the debate is set to take place, Booker said he will embark on a tour of Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

“I’ll be doing what we’ve done for the last ten months of this campaign and throughout my time in public service—meeting people where they are, in living rooms and church basements, at coffee shops and in diners, and discussing how to tackle the most pressing challenges we face,” Booker tweeted.