Cory Booker has raised more than $5 million since launching his presidential campaign on Feb. 1, a relatively modest figure for the New Jersey senator compared with the sums announced thus far by several of his rivals for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Booker’s haul, announced Sunday in an email to supporters, falls short of the $18.2 million raised by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the $12 million raised by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the $9.4 million raised by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), and the $7 million raised by Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, in the first quarter of 2019.
Even the totals raised by O’Rourke and Sanders within the first 24 hours of their campaign announcements — $6.1 million and $5.9 million, respectively — surpassed the amount Booker was able to collect in February and March.
The campaign said 82 percent of the people to contribute to its $5 million were first-time donors to Booker, though the campaign would not reveal the number of donors or what percentage of its contributions came from small-dollar fundraising.
“When we launched this campaign, we knew we had work to do. I haven’t run for office since 2014, while others have spent the last six years, and millions of dollars, building a network of supporters,” Booker said in his campaign’s email. “That’s why your help these past two months has been so crucial, and it’s why I’m so grateful to you. You’re the reason we’re in this fight, and your support has allowed us to show the country that we’ll be in this for the long haul.”
Of the 2020 candidates, Booker, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has laid down arguably the most extensive infrastructure in early-voting states, with heavy staffing in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
But despite those organizational advantages and the national profile of a sitting U.S. senator long considered a rising star within his party, Booker has struggled in recent polling to break through as one of the Democrats’ top five choices to take on President Donald Trump — regularly trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, Sanders, Harris, O’Rourke and Warren.
On Saturday, Booker is planning a hometown rally in Newark, N.J., to kick off his first national 2020 tour.
Natasha Korecki contributed to this report.
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