Cory Booker ends presidential bid
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) suspended his presidential campaign on Monday, acknowledging that he no longer has the resources to continue his bid for the Democratic nomination.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but I got in this race to win, and I’ve always said I wouldn’t continue if there was no longer a path to victory,” Booker said in an email to supporters.
“Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win — money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington.”
The announcement brings to an end a campaign that for nearly a year sought to win over voters with a message of love and unity. But that message failed to gain traction among a Democratic electorate eager to confront President Trump and his allies.
In a video on Monday, Booker reaffirmed his unity message and vowed to campaign for the eventual Democratic presidential nominee, as well as other candidates down the ballot, though he did not so much as hint at whom he could back in the primary race.
“It is my faith in us — my faith in us together as a nation that we share common pain and common problems that can only be solved with a common purpose and a sense of common cause,” Booker said.
“I can’t wait to get back on the campaign trail and campaign as hard as I can for whoever is the eventual nominee and for candidates up and down the ballot.”
Booker’s decision to end his presidential campaign means that there is only one African American left in the race, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is considered a long shot for the Democratic nomination.
Booker has expressed concern for months about the waning diversity in the Democratic presidential field, especially as candidates of color, like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, dropped out of the race.
A high-profile senator and former mayor of Newark, N.J., Booker launched his campaign in February. But he struggled to break out of low-single digits in the polls and often found his fundraising numbers eclipsed by his top rivals, including Senate colleagues like Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
His diminishing position in the primary field became clearer in recent weeks after he failed to qualify for the Democratic presidential debates in December. His decision to end his campaign came after he failed to make the cut for Tuesday’s debate in Des Moines.
Booker’s campaign first acknowledged in September that it was falling behind in fundraising and urged supporters to donate in order to keep the New Jersey senator in the running.
He raised $6.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, putting him well behind most of his competitors for the Democratic nomination.
By suspending his presidential campaign, Booker frees himself up to focus on other races in 2020, including his own. He’s up for reelection this year, though he remains popular in his home state and is not expected to face a tough path to a second term in the Senate.
He’s also likely to be a valuable surrogate for other Democrats facing tough elections in 2020, and his endorsement will almost certainly be courted by remaining candidates for the party’s presidential nomination.
Updated at 11:45 a.m.
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