"I need help": Cory Booker appeals for donations to keep 2020 campaign afloat

"I need help": Booker asks for donations to keep campaign afloat

Struggling to keep his presidential campaign afloat, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is appealing for donations to ensure he can qualify for the next debate and continue his months-long pursuit of a spot in the top tier of the Democratic primary field.

"If you want me in this race, if you want my voice and message — which is resonating — then I need help," Booker said on "Face the Nation."

Since entering the crowded race in February, Booker hasn't garnered enough support among prospective Democratic primary voters to position himself alongside former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the three candidates who have consistently led the pack in recent months.

In the last CBS News Battleground Tracker poll of likely voters across the early primary and caucus states, Booker polled behind the three frontrunners, as well as South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and fellow Senators Kamala Harris and Amy Klochubar, who have all qualified for the next debate in Los Angeles. Booker has yet to meet the threshold to qualify for the debate later this month.

Despite this, Booker on Sunday denied that his campaign messaging — which he has centered on his commitment to breaking the gridlock and partisanship in Washington — is faltering.

"It's working," he said before conceding that "it's not translating to people choosing me in the polls."

The New Jersey Democrat said he hopes to make inroads among more voters — and qualify for the upcoming debate — in part through a new ad. Booker's campaign released a new digital spot on Sunday, featuring the candidate arguing that his trademark message of "heroic love" has been central to reforms throughout American history, from the first women's rights convention at Seneca Falls in the 1840s and the civil rights movement in the 1960s, to the Stonewall uprising in New York in 1960.

Love by Cory Booker on YouTube

Booker suggested his message of unity and love can help galvanize the coalition of Latino, African American, Asian American and young voters that helped President Obama triumph in both 2008 and 2012. Asked how he could overcome the rigid congressional opposition Mr. Obama faced for much of his presidency and the increasingly partisan makeup of Washington under President Trump's tenure, Booker said he refuses to "surrender to cynicism."

"I'm going to come to Washington and do things differently," he said. "I'm going to break norms."

  • Camilo Montoya-Galvez
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    Camilo Montoya-Galvez is the immigration reporter at CBS News. Based in Washington, he covers immigration policy and politics. Twitter: @camiloreports