DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democrat Cory Booker dropped out of the presidential race Monday, ending a campaign whose message of unity and love failed to resonate in a political era marked by chaos and anxiety.
His departure now leaves a field that was once the most diverse in history with just one remaining African American candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is struggling to register in the polls amid a late entry into the race.
Since launching his campaign last February, Booker, a U.S. senator from New Jersey, struggled to raise the type of money required to support a White House bid. He was at the back of the pack in most surveys and failed to meet the polling requirements needed to participate in Tuesday’s debate. Booker also missed last month’s debate and exits the race polling in low single digits in the early primary states and nationwide.
In an email to supporters, Booker said that he “got into this race to win” and that his failure to make the debates prevented him from raising raise the money required for victory.
“Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win -- money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington,” he said.
For African Americans, Booker’s exit is more meaningful than just being one less option to consider.
“It means that we don’t count,” said Helen Moore, a member of the Detroit-based Keep the Vote-No Takeover grassroots organization. “Now, we can’t look forward to any black candidate being considered from now until it’s time to vote. They are completely out of the picture.”