Booker surpassed the higher threshold of 130,000 unique donors, his campaign said Monday, after having previously met the polling requirements for the debate, slated for September. Booker’s campaign said more than a quarter of those donors contributed since the first June debate, when he dominated in speaking time among the candidates.
“We’re building this campaign the right way, brick by brick from the grassroots up, and we’re seeing the results of that strategy as we continue to build momentum,” said Booker’s campaign manager Addisu Demissie. “We’re grateful to the tens of thousands of Americans who have chipped in to ensure Cory’s voice will be heard in the Democratic debates this fall, and who believe in Cory’s uplifting vision of building a more fair and just country for everyone.”
The news gives Booker a burst of momentum at an opportune moment, just as he is set to take the debate stage Wednesday with former Vice President Joe Biden, the current Democratic frontrunner, and other rivals. And, if the recent public back-and-forth between Biden and Booker is any indication, it could be a contentious meeting.
Booker is the seventh Democratic candidate so far to check both boxes and guarantee a spot onstage for the fall debate, joining Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar has met the polling requirement but not the donor threshold, while businessman Andrew Yang and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro have exceeded the donor threshold but not yet registered at 2% or higher in enough qualifying polls.
The DNC’s higher thresholds to qualify for the fall debates are expected to roughly halve the number of candidates on stage.