Cory Booker on Monday suspended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination after struggling since the start to break into the top tier and failing to make the cut for the upcoming debate.
The New Jersey senator broke the news in an email to supporters announcing the move to shutter the operation. Booker also missed last month's debate and exits the race polling in low single digits in the early primary states and nationwide.
An email to supporters says, in part, "It was a hard decision to make, but I got in this race to win, and I've always said I wouldn't continue if there was no longer a path to victory".
Following Sen. Kamala Harris', D-Calif., decision to drop out of the race in December, Booker became increasingly outspoken about the lack of diversity in the presidential debates and decried the circumstances that allowed the field's billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer to build name-recognition by purchasing television advertisements using their personal fortunes. He hinted at the challenges facing his campaign last week in an interview on The Associated Press' "Ground Game" podcast. It's a referendum on who we are and who we must be to each other.
Promising to "carry this fight forward", he said he would "not be doing it as a candidate for president this year". Another former mayor, Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, is seen as the freshest face in the field.
Booker is the first candidate to leave the race who specifically cited the impending impeachment trial as an issue.
Despite long-standing ties to Wall Street and Silicon Valley, he raised far less campaign cash than many of his opponents.
Like some of the other candidates, Booker faced hurdles imposed by the Democratic National Committee's debate qualification rules, which set minimum requirements for polling and fundraising.
Sen. Cory Booker delivers remarks at a campaign event in November 2019 in New York City. In response, President Donald Trump jokingly wrote on Twitter that he can "Now...rest easy tonight".