Booker says thousands responded to fundraising plea

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) on Monday said that he saw his best two days of fundraising after he warned over the weekend that he could drop his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination unless he raises an additional $1.7 million by the end of the month.

“It’s already been the best two fundraising days of our campaign, so far,” Booker said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” adding that “well over 10,000 people have responded to this challenge.” 

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Booker’s campaign said that, as of Monday morning, it had raised more than $500,000 since it sent out a Saturday fundraising plea warning that “without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward.”

In a way, Booker’s call for donations is reflective of the political position he finds himself in. He has hovered for months in the low single digits in public polls and has lagged behind the Democratic primary field’s top-tier hopefuls in fundraising. 

Addisu Demissie, Booker’s campaign manager, told reporters in a conference call on Saturday that the campaign was not yet at risk of running out of money. Rather, he said, the concern was about the campaign’s fundraising trajectory and its ability to scale up operations in the coming weeks.

“If we cannot raise the $1.7 million to scale up our operation, then we don’t believe we are going to be in a position to compete for the nomination,” Demissie said. “It’s about the trajectory of the race as much as it is the number.”

Demissie said that Booker needed to raise the money by Sept. 30, when campaigns close their fundraising books for the third quarter of the year. They have until Oct. 15 to submit quarterly fundraising reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Despite Demissie’s warning that Booker was at risk of dropping out of the primary contest barring a fundraising surge, it’s unclear when the New Jersey senator would make such a decision. He has already qualified for the fourth Democratic debate in October and it’s unlikely that he would end his campaign before then.

But the campaign has also warned that the Democratic National Committee may soon raise the bar to qualify for the fifth presidential debate in November. If that happens, Demissie said, Booker would be at risk of missing the mark. 

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