Why Cory Booker Doesn’t Care About His Low Poll Numbers

Presidential candidate Cory Booker is polling in the single digits — but he still believes he can win. Here's why.

Booker insists he has the "right stuff “to win the primary

New Jersey senator remained in the low single-digits in polling despite crossing off multiple boxes as a progressive candidate. But as he filed for the first-in-the-nation primary ballot– the last major presidential candidate to do so – Booker was unconcerned by the poll numbers or the potential complications of having a new competitor conveying much the same message that he has for the entire campaign. Comparing himself to candidates who became president despite having poor New Hampshire poll numbers a few months, or even several weeks, ahead of the primary, Booker insisted he has the "right stuff “to win the primary.

Booker will not bless any new super PAC formed by supporters in his home state reportedly to say through messaging that additional candidates are not needed in the Democratic field. Booker drew a comparison to running the high hurdles while at Stanford University in talking about his three-month sprint to the New Hampshire primary. He said that while policy differences among the candidates are important to voters, “I think that this is a moral moment in our country. People are going to be looking for the heart and the spirit that the leader is going to bring, and that’s the case that we’ve been making.”

At the same time, Booker distanced himself from the United We Win super PAC, filed with the Federal Election Commission by Booker supporters in New Jersey. The super PAC reportedly plans to begin its efforts by spending $1 million in social media advertising. Booker’s campaign has been financially challenged in a year into primaries. The campaign said in late September 2019 that Booker would be forced to leave the race by Sept. 30 if he could not raise $1.7 million. The campaign raised more than $2.1 million by its self-imposed deadline. Booker reiterated his opposition to super PACs but did not say that he will specifically ask the supporters to cease their activities.