Booker says he will not make December debate stage

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

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerTim Scott says police reform talks collapsed with Dems over funding Sunday shows preview: Pelosi announces date for infrastructure vote; administration defends immigration policies Democrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol 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 BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIn Washington, the road almost never taken Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn Washington, the road almost never taken Senate poised to battle over Biden's pick of big bank critic Treasury says more rental aid is reaching tenants, preventing evictions MORE (D-Mass.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDOJ sues to block JetBlue-American Airlines partnership On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook This week: Democrats face mounting headaches MORE (D-Minn.), former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangYang's new party will be called 'The Forward Party' Andrew Yang planning to launch third party: report Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE and billionaire philanthropist Tom SteyerTom SteyerOvernight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline Six things to watch as California heads for recall election 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.