Booker says he will not make December debate stage

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

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders, Warren feud rattles Democrats The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial 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 BidenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans MORE (D-Mass.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE (D-Minn.), former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangDNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Panel: Obama breaks Andrew Yang's heart MORE and billionaire philanthropist Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerPoll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Buttigieg takes dig at Sanders working 'for years' in Washington The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders, Warren feud rattles Democrats MORE.

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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.