Dems just made it tougher for Booker to qualify for November debate

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and the other Democratic presidential candidates wishing to remain on the debate stage in November will have to raise more money and score higher in opinion polls under stricter criteria announced Monday.

Booker campaign manager Addisu Demissie on Saturday cited the expectation that the DNC would make it tougher for candidates to qualify for the next debate as one reason he did not see a way for Booker to win unless he could raise $1.7 million through Sept. 30.

Eleven candidates, including Booker, have qualified for the Oct. 15 debate in Ohio. A second day could be added depending on how candidates eventually meet the criteria of at least 130,000 unique donors and 2 percent in at least four separate surveys

Under the higher thresholds announced by the Democratic National Committee, candidates must raise funds from at least 165,000 separate individuals, with a minimum of 600 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states or territories.

In addition, candidates will have to receive at least 3 percent in four national polls or surveys in the four states with the first contests, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina; or else 5 percent in two polls conducted in those four states.

The polls have to be released between Sept. 13 and seven days before the as-yet unscheduled November debate.

Booker apparently already has met the 3 percent threshold in two of the four surveys that qualify: a Fox News national poll released last Wednesday and the Iowa Poll released Sunday.

In a fundraising email sent shortly after the new criteria were announced, Booker said he didn’t have enough individual donors to qualify for the November debate yet.

“This new 165,000 donor threshold underscores the reason we’re being radically transparent with you,” Booker wrote. “The bar in this race has gotten higher and it will continue to.”

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