The White House campaign of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) teetered on the edge of being abandoned in coming days, as the candidate on Saturday publicly confirmed the existence of an internal memo which bluntly said that unless Booker could get a surge of donations in the next ten days, his 2020 campaign was doomed.
"I want people to see where we are and understand that we have a pathway to victory," Booker wrote on Twitter Saturday morning, "but I can’t walk it alone."
Booker's comments came soon after NBC News had reported that the campaign's top aide told the candidate and staff that a major infusion of money was needed to keep Booker's campaign going.
"This isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt or one of those memos from a campaign trying to spin the press," said Addisu Demissie.
I wrote a thing. This isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt or one of those memos from a campaign trying to spin the press. This is the truth: @CoryBooker has the resources necessary to continue on as we are now, but need to raise $1.7M in 10 days to grow to win. https://t.co/CIngql2YNE— Addisu Demissie (@ASDem) September 21, 2019
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. https://t.co/akjhAxjVey— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 21, 2019
Booker's predicament in the Democratic race is much like a large number of other candidates right now - they are mired in low single digits in most polls, and have shown no ability to break out of that group to challenge the leaders in the race.
For example, in the latest national poll from Fox News on the Democratic race, Booker is a 3 percent - that's where he was in August, June, and May.
Others who have shown little to no ability to jump up in recent polls would include Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Julian Castro, John Delaney and Michael Bennet.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was also in that group - he officially quit the race on Friday.
Others stuck in the polls have been Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O'Rourke - and even Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris - who while they are above most of those in the race, the two have been unable to make up ground on the Democratic Party leaders.
Harris encountered rough waters in the last week as repeated stories reported that her campaign was going to focus much more on Iowa - a decision which is often a signal of broader difficulty for a presidential candidate.
In a bit of a slump, 2020 hopeful Kamala Harris is refocusing time and resources into Iowa, hoping investments in the state will lead to a top-3 caucus finish. https://t.co/FbYbAGdEji— OpenSecrets.org (@OpenSecretsDC) September 21, 2019
New: @KamalaHarris is increasing her focus on Iowa.— Hanna Trudo (@HCTrudo) September 19, 2019
But according to Dem operatives & activists there, there are already flashing warning signs ahead.
“You can’t imagine anything worse than Hillary’s campaign,” one source familiar said. "This is worse." https://t.co/c6tsFjVhuc
Meanwhile, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders seem locked in to the top three spots in the Democratic race, with little evidence that any of the other Democrats were going to be able to pull them down at this point.
And for Booker - it's been a bridge too far.