Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said that he is ending his presidential bid, the latest Democrat to drop out of the race after lagging in fundraising strength and failing to qualify for the most recent debates.
In a video posted on Twitter, Booker said, “Today I am suspending my campaign for president with the same spirit with which it began. It is my faith in us. It is my faith in us together as a nation. We share a common pain and common problems that can only be solved with a common purpose and a sense of common cause.”
“I can’t wait to get back on the campaign trail, to campaign as hard as I can for whoever is the eventual nominee, and for candidates up and down the ballot,” Booker said.
Booker failed to qualify for the December debate and the next debate, which is scheduled for Tuesday from Des Moines, Iowa. He’s the latest candidate to drop out just weeks before voting begins, with the Iowa caucus on Feb. 3. Last week, Marianne Williamson ended her presidential bid.
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Booker came into the race with many longtime ties to the entertainment industry. His celebrity supporters included Rosario Dawson, who he has been dating, and Jon Bon Jovi, who hosted a fundraiser for him, as well as others who backed his Senate and mayoral campaigns.
With a hopeful message focused on healing political and social divisions, Booker still failed to break through in the polls. He did draw significant fundraising support from the entertainment community. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he raised $335,389 through the end of September from showbiz source, enough to place him 6th among all candidates.
By last fall, though, that money started to dry up. Booker was upfront that he was in danger of having to drop out of the race if his fundraising did not improve.
Booker was one of two African American candidates still in the race for the Democratic nomination. Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, entered the race late last fall and has yet to qualify for a debate. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, FL, dropped out. Twelve candidates remain in the race, in a field that was once more than twice the size.
Booker also was among five senators still in the race, who face being in Washington, DC, in the coming weeks rather than the early states, if the Senate schedules the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. The scheduling could impact the campaigns of those still running, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).
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