Booker will not appear on primary ballot in Vermont

Booker will not appear on primary ballot in Vermont
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Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerMaternal and child health legislation must be prioritized now Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (D-N.J.) is taking a pass in Vermont’s Democratic presidential primary. 

The New Jersey senator won’t appear on the state’s primary ballot when voters head to the polls in March, according to a list of qualified candidates released by the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office on Tuesday. Candidates had until 5 p.m. on Monday to submit the paperwork required to get on the ballot.


Julia McClain Downey, the director of state communications for Booker’s campaign, said that the New Jersey senator decided to forego a run in Vermont due to the state’s requirement that a candidate win at least 15 percent in order to be awarded any delegates. 

Instead, she said, Booker’s campaign will direct resources to other states. 

"We are focused on using our campaign's resources in the most efficient and effective way possible to win the Democratic primary and go on to defeat Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE,” she said. “In this case, given Vermont's 15 percent threshold requirement to receive delegates, we have decided to direct our efforts elsewhere to best achieve our goals and objectives."

An aide to Booker said that Vermont’s 15 percent threshold combined with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan Sanders urges Biden to delay Medicare premium hike linked to Alzheimer's drug MORE (I-Vt.) significant home state advantage there were behind the campaign’s decision to punt on the ballot-access requirements.

The aide noted that Vermont’s requirement that presidential candidates collect and verify 1,000 valid signatures to get on the primary ballot also factored into the campaign’s decision not to compete in Vermont.

Indeed, Sanders is the favorite to win his home state in the 2020 primary contest. 

A Morning Consult survey released in July found Sanders to be the most popular senator in the country among his constituents with a 65-percent approval rating. And he trounced Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE in Vermont’s 2016 Democratic primary, scoring 86 percent of the vote to her roughly 14 percent.

But Booker’s decision to eschew the Vermont primary entirely may signal that his campaign doesn’t have the resources to compete in all of the same states as his rivals.

With only 23 delegates, the Vermont offers the fifth smallest delegate haul out of any state in the Democratic primary contest, meaning that by Booker’s not putting much at risk by not competing there. The state holds its primary on Super Tuesday along with 13 other states, including delegate-rich California and Texas.

He lagged far behind the Democratic primary field’s top tier in fundraising last quarter, bringing in roughly $6 million. And he has struggled to break out of low-single digits in national and early state polls – a trend that led to his failure to qualify for the next presidential debate on Thursday.

Still, he’s not the only candidate that won’t be on the primary ballot in Vermont. Also missing is Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHickenlooper: Law preventing cannabis business banking 'a recipe for disaster' Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Sununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority MORE (D-Colo.) and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyMaryland Democrats target lone Republican in redistricting scheme Warning: Joe Biden's 'eat the rich' pitch may come back to bite you Direct air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy MORE (D-Md.), two bottom-tier candidates who have tied their prospects in the Democratic nominating contest to strong finishes in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

One other candidate, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, has not yet made it onto Vermont’s primary ballot, but was granted additional time to file a supplementary petition with the secretary of state’s office.