Published: Mon, January 13, 2020

Cory Booker Drops Out Of Presidential Race

Cory Booker Drops Out Of Presidential Race

"It's with a full heart that I share this news-I'm suspending my campaign for president".

An email to supporters says, in part, "It was a hard decision to make, but I got in this race to win, and I've always said I wouldn't continue if there was no longer a path to victory".

Booker was considered a top tier candidate when he entered the race in February 2019. But he hovered in the low single digits in opinion polls, even as he built strong organizations to get out the vote in the early primary and caucus states.

Those anemic numbers would ultimately lead to the senator's exclusion from debates in both December and January, due to Democratic Party rules requiring candidates achieve numbers above specific thresholds in order to participate. That meant that even later in the campaign, after he had collected some of the top endorsements in Iowa and visited SC nearly more than any other candidate, a significant portion of the electorate in both states either said they were unfamiliar with his campaign or viewed him unfavourably. Kamala Harris of California, withdrew from the race last month.

As he often does when a Democratic candidate exits the race, President Trump reacted to the news by mocking Booker's candidacy.

His calls for unity and to heal America's political divisions fell on the deaf ears of a Democrats infuriated by the policies and the rhetoric of Trump and wanting someone as angry as they are.


Booker played a key role in the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that Trump supported past year, for example, a deal he helped strike two months after sparring with Republicans during the battle over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"I think a lot of folks are beginning to feel that the forces that are tearing us apart in this country are stronger than the forces that tie us together". Booker said multiple factors had contributed to his conclusion that he had no chance to win the Democratic nomination.

An early focus on building out a strong and seasoned campaign operation in Iowa and SC may have hampered his campaign in the long run, as the resources he spent early on staff there left him working with a tight budget in the later stages of the primary, when many of his opponents were going on air with television ads. He surpassed that goal.

He instead will run for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com.

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