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Cory Booker expects to miss next debate but won't drop out

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the Teamsters Presidential Candidate Forum at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette via AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the Teamsters Presidential Candidate Forum at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette via AP) (2019 The Gazette)

WASHINGTON, DC – Cory Booker will remain in the Democratic presidential race even though he does not expect to qualify for next week's primary debate, he announced Thursday, after a burst of fundraising support has given him the resources he needs to continue his bid.

"Thanks to the outpouring of support over the past few weeks, we know there’s a path to victory, and we no longer need the debate stage to get there," Booker tweeted.

While Booker has hit the grassroots fundraising threshold to qualify for the December primary debate, his campaign acknowledged it doesn't expect him to meet the polling threshold. He would need to draw 4% support in four qualifying polls by midnight Thursday, and he currently has none.

On a call with reporters, Booker campaign manager Addisu Demissie said the campaign would "probably" post their best fundraising quarter since the New Jersey senator launched his bid, citing in part a $3 million surge the candidate has seen since the November debate.

Demissie said the campaign will use that money in part to launch a half-million dollar television and digital ad buy. Instead of attending the debate, Booker will campaign in Nevada and Iowa next week.

The debate will be held next Thursday in Los Angeles, co-hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico.