Booker says he will not make December debate stage

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Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Julian Castro jabs ICE: ‘Delete your account’ Booker campaign unveils bilingual training program for Nevada caucus MORE (D-N.J.) said Thursday he is unlikely to qualify for the sixth Democratic presidential debate later this month, but insisted he still has a path to victory in the nominating contest despite lackluster fundraising and waning poll numbers.

“Today is the deadline for the DNC’s December debate qualifying threshold – and while I may not be on the debate stage next Thursday, thanks to the outpouring of support over the past few weeks, we know there’s a path to victory, and we no longer need the debate stage to get there,” Booker tweeted.

Democratic presidential candidates have until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday to meet the qualifying criteria for the Dec. 19 debate. So far, seven candidates are expected to be on stage: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE (D-Mass.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 Krystal Ball warns about lagging youth support for Buttigieg MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Horowitz offers troubling picture of FBI’s Trump campaign probe MORE (D-Minn.), former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Krystal Ball warns about lagging youth support for Buttigieg Saagar Enjeti calls Yang’s rise a ‘return to the fundamentals of democracy’ MORE and billionaire philanthropist Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Saagar Enjeti calls Yang’s rise a ‘return to the fundamentals of democracy’ The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by AdvaMed – An unusual day: Impeachment plus a trade deal MORE.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised the qualifying criteria for the sixth debate. Candidates have to amass support from at least 200,000 unique donors and register 4 percent support in four approved polls or 6 percent in two approved polls in early primary and caucus states.

While Booker has met the DNC’s donor threshold for the December debate, he’s nowhere close to meeting the polling requirement. He hasn’t registered 4 percent in a committee-approved poll in months.

Booker’s failure to qualify for the debate stage next week will mark the first time he will not appear at one of this year’s DNC-sanctioned debates. Instead of traveling to Los Angeles, where the debate is set to take place, Booker said he will embark on a tour of Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

“I’ll be doing what we’ve done for the last ten months of this campaign and throughout my time in public service – meeting people where they are, in living rooms and church basements, at coffee shops and in diners, and discussing how to tackle the most pressing challenges we face,” Booker tweeted.

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