Cory Booker needs $1.7M before October to stay in race, campaign says

Booker's campaign is worried it might not meet increasing DNC debate thresholds.

The next 10 days will decide whether Sen. Cory Booker's campaign for president continues.

In a new internal memo, which was leaked and posted on Medium Saturday, Booker's campaign manager Addisu Demissie said Booker needs to raise $1.7 million by Sept. 30 to be in a position to continue running for president. If not, Booker may not meet the "increase in the DNC's debate-qualifying thresholds, which would require significant funds to meet."

The Democratic National Committee has not announced the guidelines for its fifth debate, which is in November.

During a press call Saturday morning, Demissie made clear if Booker doesn't raise $1.7 in the next 10 days, he will drop out.

"We got in this race to win it," Demissie said. "We're not running for second place, and this is not an attention-getting effort for Cory Booker."

At this stage, Booker's campaign said it is starting to fall behind leading Democratic presidential contenders.

"Other campaigns have, in recent weeks, surpassed us in scale and begun spending on paid persuasion efforts online and on television," Demissie said in the memo. With that in mind, "it is probable there are only four campaigns in this race with the money necessary to build and sustain the national organization needed to win the nomination."

Booker only polled at 1% in the ABC News September poll. In that same poll, among 480 Democratic primary voters, former Vice President Joe Biden polled at 27%, Sen. Bernie Sanders at 19 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 17% and Sen. Kamala Harris at 7%.

Booker's campaign emailed ABC News the Medium link Saturday.

Qualifying for the upcoming October Democratic debate isn't enough; Booker needs money to come in quickly, Demissie said. "Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward," he wrote.

Booker's campaign manager said the plea for fundraising $1.7 million isn't a stunt to get more press. "This is a real, unvarnished look under the hood of our operation at a level of transparency unprecedented in modern presidential campaigns," Demissie wrote.

Often presidential campaigns send catastrophic emails in an attempt to boost last-minute fundraising dollars. However, Booker's campaign manager stressed on Saturday that this is far from a ploy. "It's about the trajectory of our fundraising and our ability to use money now, to build to continue to build the organization, we need to win," Demissie said. Without the fundraising at the end of the quarter, "we do not see a legitimate long term path to ultimately win a nomination," he said frankly.

During the second fundraising quarter of this year, between April and June, the Booker campaign raised $4.5 million and spent $5.3 million, trailing far behind top-tier candidates but ahead of some of the other candidates including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

The third fundraising quarter ends in 10 days.

Booker, speaking to reporters following an appearance at an LGBTQ presidential forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, talked about the importance of the Hawkeye State. He said his campaign is putting "a lot of our chips on this state and I plan on winning it. And right now I think we have the best team we're leading endorsements in the state. We're showing all signs and the metrics that we can win this state."

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