Booker was ready to call it quits but now says his 2020 campaign continues

NEW YORK — Sen. Cory Booker announced Monday he will stay in the 2020 Democratic presidential race after his campaign met a self-imposed fundraising goal of $1.7 million.

“We blew past it last night. It’s been the best sort of period of fundraising we’ve had for the campaign,” Booker told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “We still have until midnight tonight. So we’re going to hopefully run through the tape and we hope to actually end this quarter if we can at $2 million raised during this period.”

According to a memo from the Booker campaign, they surpassed the fundraising goal by 8:16 p.m. ET on Sunday and had raised $1,783,504.44 by midnight.

Sen. Cory Booker (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Booker said he would drop out of the race if his campaign could not raise the money to justify it continuing. The Booker team has seen middling fundraising numbers, raising $4.5 million in the second quarter — a dip from the $5 million he raised during the first three months of the year. Although the New Jersey senator raised enough money to meet his goal and remain in the race, he still has not qualified for the Democratic primary debate that will take place in November.

The Democratic National Committee announced last week that candidates must meet higher polling and donor thresholds to qualify for the party’s November debate. The DNC has not yet announced the date for that debate.

Candidates must raise money from 165,000 separate donors — including a minimum of 600 donors each in at least 20 states or territories, up from the current minimum of 130,000 donors.

In addition to meeting the required donor threshold, the DNC also requires candidates must reach 3% in at least four DNC-approved polls of Democratic voters nationally or in one of the four early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. That’s a 1 percentage point increase over the threshold for the September and October debates.

In a new option, the DNC announced candidates can also reach at least 5% in two polls of the early-voting states to qualify. The polls must come in a window between September 13 and a week before the November debate.

During an interview on Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” Booker said his campaign has met the donor threshold required to qualify for that debate, noting that his campaign has “nearly 35,000” donors. He has not yet met the polling threshold to qualify for the November stage.

Booker has already qualified for the October Democratic presidential debate, which will be moderated by CNN and The New York Times.

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