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U.S. Senator Cory Booker. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe

New DNC debate rule creates challenge for Booker

New Jersey Senator says he’s doesn’t have 165k donors yet

By David Wildstein, September 23 2019 4:13 pm

Cory Booker says his campaign hasn’t hit the 165,000-donor threshold set by the Democratic National Committee to qualify for the November presidential debate.

Candidates will need a combination of unique donors and polls showing at least 3% of support in at least four early state or national polls.  That’s up from 130,000 donors and 2% in the polls needed to earn a place in the September and October polls.

“This new 165,000 donor threshold underscores the reason we’re being radically transparent,” Booker said in an email to supporters today.  “It’s not just the DNC threshold — our campaign needs to scale up to have a chance to stay in this race and compete to win the nomination.”

Booker said that in a crowded field, debates are the only chance for underdog campaigns like the one he’s waging to break out in a contest where he’s being outspent by millions of dollars.

“It’s no secret that our campaign is an underdog in the race.” Booker said.  “I’m used to being counted out — we’ve seen it before when I ran for mayor of Newark.”

The New Jersey Senator has already qualified for the October debate.

Early polls are for Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina.

Candidates must also show 600 unique donors in at least twenty states, including the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

Five of the leading candidates – Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg – are not expected to have any difficulties meeting the new debate requirements.

On Saturday, Booker campaign manager Addisu Demissie said that the campaign will need to raise $1.7 million before the end of this month in order to continue.

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