"It's with a full heart that I share this news - I've made the decision to suspend my campaign for president", Booker said Monday in an email to supporters. His announcement also comes on the eve of the seventh Democratic debate which he did not qualify to participate in due to a lack of qualifying polls towards Democratic National Committee polling thresholds, according to ABC News' analysis. 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.
"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 said in a statement to supporters, adding that he couldn't raise the funds required to continue, while claiming that the "urgent business of impeachment" would keep him in Washington.
Booker, who recently announced he had surpassed his fourth-quarter fundraising goal, said his operation would not have the money "to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win", particularly with a Senate impeachment trial looming and because he would be absent from tomorrow's debate. He was one of three African Americans to seek the Democratic nomination; another, Sen. Grateful to you and looking forward to your continued leadership. "They are completely out of the picture". He hinted at the challenges facing his campaign last week in an interview on The Associated Press' "Ground Game" podcast.
Other candidates stole his narrative thunder, perhaps most obviously South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who ran with urban, boots-in-local-politics branding Booker had hopd for his own campaign story.
It's a humbling finish for someone who was once lauded by Oprah Winfrey as the "rock star mayor" who helped lead the renewal of Newark, New Jersey.
He says. "Campaigning over this past year has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life". His rhetorical skills and Ivy League background often brought comparisons to President Barack Obama, and he'd been discussed as a potential presidential contender since his arrival in the Senate in 2013. After Booker criticised former vice-president Joe Biden for having touted his work with segregationists, the DNC's randomised rules put the two candidates on different nights of the June debates. And Booker's message of hope and love seemed to fall flat during an era characterized perhaps most strongly by Democratic fury over the actions of the Trump administration. The scheduling could impact the campaigns of those still running, including Sen.
Booker's early and intense focus on organizing the state - which he's now visited four times - is the result of his campaign's calculation that in-person campaigning and field organization are his strengths, rather than the national-media-narrative game.
Booker's fellow presidential hopefuls struck a much more supportive tone.
But the high-spirited Booker never found traction with voters. Booker was a prominent supporter of the bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation that was signed into law in late 2018.