BY JONATHAN TAMARI
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER/TNS
WASHINGTON – Cory Booker is staying in the presidential race after hitting his self-imposed $1.7 million fund-raising goal late Sunday night, hitting a mark his team set nine days prior in an urgent plea for help.
“Thanks to this outpouring of support, we see a viable path forward to continue growing a winning campaign. I’m staying in this race — and I’m in it to win,” Booker, a senator from New Jersey, said in a statement the morning of Sept. 30.
“But this won’t be the last mountain we have to climb on our way to the nomination — we have a lot more money to raise to continue being competitive with the better-funded campaigns in this race.”
His statement then asked for another $217,000 in donations to put him over $2 million since his Sept. 21 call for support.
Booker’s campaign said that day he was in danger of dropping out of the race unless he could raise an additional $1.7 million by the end of Monday.
In an unusually blunt memo and call with reporters, his campaign manager said they did not see a viable path forward without that fund-raising surge by the end of September, the deadline for the next set of campaign finance disclosures.
Booker has been among a number of Democratic senators and governors who have struggled to gain traction in the presidential race, lagging in both polling and fund-raising, despite receiving strong receptions at his public events and in national debates.
His open call for help led to his best nine-day stretch of fundraising, his campaign said Monday, resulting in $1.78 million in donations as of the end of Sept. 29. Now Booker’s challenge is to convert the cash surge into tangible public support.