Cory Booker Urges People to Donate to Campaign, Says $1.7 Million Needed to Keep Him in the Race

September 21, 2019 Updated: September 22, 2019

Presidential contender Cory Booker (D-N.J.) urged people to donate to his campaign on Saturday, Sept. 21, claiming he needs $1.7 million in the next 10 days or he’ll have to drop out of the race.

Booker, 50, a vegan, was one of 17 Democratic candidates at the Iowa Steak Fry.

Booker confirmed that his campaign sent a memo about needing donations, saying in a statement: “It’s an unusual move for a campaign like ours to be this transparent, but there can be no courage without vulnerability. I want people to see where we are and understand that we have a pathway to victory, but I can’t walk it alone.”

“This isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt. This is a real, unvarnished look under the hood of our campaign at a level of transparency unprecedented in presidential politics,” he added. “We’re at a crossroads in this campaign. We need to raise $1.7 million by September 30 to be in a position to build the organization we need to compete for the nomination—and we can do it—but if we don’t, we don’t see a legitimate long-term path forward.”

Booker twice posted the link to a page where people can donate to his campaign. In one missive, he asked people to chip in as little as $5 to help keep his campaign afloat.

Like many candidates, Booker has struggled to gain traction in the crowded field.

According to an average of national polling, Booker is averaging 2.8 percent in polls. That places him at eighth in the polling average, just behind entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Eight candidates have dropped out so far, many in recent weeks. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was the latest, saying on Friday: “I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), and former West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda have dropped out of the race.

Booker told people that even if they’re not sure about him, they can donate.

“If you’re all in for me, I can’t thank you enough,” he said. “But if you haven’t settled on a candidate & still think my voice belongs in this race, if you believe the Democratic field should include someone like me, I want you to understand the field may narrow & pay attention to this too.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber