Booker raises $6.6M in fourth quarter, trailing top rivals

Booker raises $6.6M in fourth quarter, trailing top rivals
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Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker says he will ask Amy Coney Barrett if she will recuse herself from presidential election-related cases Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election The movement to reform animal agriculture has reached a tipping point MORE (D-N.J.) raised $6.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, narrowly exceeding his fundraising haul from the previous quarter but lagging his top rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.

More than half of the contributions to Booker’s campaign in the fourth quarter were from new donors, and the average donation size was just under $23, according to Booker’s campaign.

The final three months of 2019 marked Booker’s best fundraising period thus far. He posted roughly $6 million in the third quarter of the year and $4.5 million in the quarter before that.

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However, he’s still well-behind most of the other Democratic presidential candidates in fundraising: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPresident Trump faces Herculean task in first debate The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Trump's tax return bombshell New Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments MORE (I-Vt.) announced this week that he had raised $34.5 million in the last three months of 2019, while former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegCindy McCain joins board of Biden's presidential transition team Billionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November MORE (D) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTop House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents Judge's ruling creates fresh hurdle for Trump's TikTok ban Harris says she hasn't 'made a plan one way or another' on meeting Supreme Court nominee MORE brought in $24.7 million and $22.7 million, respectively.

Addisu Demissie, Booker’s campaign manager, acknowledged in a statement that the New Jersey senator was lagging behind his rivals. 

He also criticized the Democratic National Committee’s criteria to qualify for its presidential debates and took aim at the lack of diversity in the primary field, pointing to former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro’s decision this week to drop out of the race.

“We’re thrilled to have closed out 2019 with our best fundraising quarter yet, despite not being able to join the December debate stage due to the artificial thresholds that prevented viable candidates from participating,” Demissie said.

“But to put it bluntly, we’re still behind the fundraising of a field of predominantly white candidates who have been able to haul in significantly greater sums of money or tap into their personal fortunes to fund their campaigns," he continued. "In the wake of Julian CastroJulian CastroSanders says Democrats should have given more speaking time to progressives Castro says DNC should have put more Latino speakers on stage from beginning Jill Biden defends husband's cognitive ability from Trump attacks: 'It's ridiculous' MORE’s departure, we find ourselves at a juncture where what started out as the most diverse field of candidates running for president in our nation’s history is increasingly becoming one that does not reflect the rich diversity of our party and of our country.”

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Booker has seen his political prospects diminish in recent months as he’s struggled to break out in polls and keep pace with his top rivals in fundraising.

In September, Demissie suggested that Booker would drop out of the presidential race if he was unable to raise $1.7 million in the final 10 days of the third fundraising quarter, saying that without a last-minute cash injection, the senator would not have the resources to remain competitive. 

Booker eventually reached that goal, but his latest fundraising numbers show him falling behind candidates he had once surpassed, including Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Minn.), who raised $11.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, up from just $4.8 million the quarter before.