Sen. Cory Booker announced Monday that he will end his campaign after failing to qualify for the Democratic debate planned for Tuesday in Iowa.
"It was a difficult 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," Booker said in an email to supporters Monday.
The New Jersey Democrat's announcement came a day before six presidential candidates will participate in the CNN/Des Moines Register's debate in Des Moines, Iowa. He did not qualify for the event. It also came as the Senate gears up for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
"Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win -- money we don't have, and money that is harder to raise because I won't be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington," Booker wrote.
His announcement marks another departure of a high-profile black candidate from the 2020 race. After not making the December debate, Booker criticized the rules that kept him from qualifying for the event and was outspoken about the growing lack of diversity on stage.
The New Jersey Democrat ran for president aiming to restore a sense of community and mend the moral fabric of America.
Booker launched his candidacy in February 2019 with a message he would remain faithful to throughout his campaign, calling on Americans who are feeling "a common pain" to come together in "common purpose" for greater justice and systemic change.
Booker pressed for reforming the nation's gun laws, including establishing a national gun license program. He advocated expansive criminal justice reform, including legalizing marijuana and expunging records of those already convicted for marijuana-related crimes. And Booker frequently shone a light on policy blindspots concerning marginalized communities, citing his own low-income, minority-majority neighborhood in Newark.
But unlike some of his rivals, Booker focused less on policy than on the "spiritual" side of the presidency. He viewed the White House as a moral post from which to inspire and guide a dispirited nation.
In his announcement to supporters, Booker said he would do "everything in my power to elect the eventual Democratic nominee for president, whomever that may be, and to elect great Democrats to the Senate and up and down the ballot."
Joe Biden, former vice president
Entered race: April 25, 2019 Age: 76 Education: B.A., University of Delaware; J.D., Syracuse University College of Law Veteran: No Best known for: Being former President Barack Obama's vice president from 2009 to 2017 and U.S. senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009. Strength: He's well-known nationally and popular in some places Democrats have lost recently, such as working-class swing states Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, his birthplace.
Weakness: Biden would be the oldest person ever elected president, with a nearly five-decade record for opponents to comb through, at a time many in his party are clamoring for a new generation to take the reins. The notoriously chatty former senator also tends to commit verbal gaffes and faced recent accusations by some women of uninvited, though nonsexual, touching.
Cory Booker, U.S. senator from New Jersey (dropped out)
Entered race: Feb. 1, 2019 Dropped out: Jan. 13, 2020 Age: 50 Education: B.A., M.A., Stanford University; graduate degree, Queen's College, University of Oxford; J.D., Yale Law School Veteran: No Best known for: Serving as mayor of Newark and, currently, U.S. senator from New Jersey. He made headlines last year during his self-proclaimed "'I am Spartacus' moment" as he flouted Senate rules against disclosing confidential documents during Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation fight. Strength: His optimistic, unity-first attitude could resonate at a time of deep political divisions.
Weakness: Trying to convince voters that he's tough enough to take on Trump.
Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana
Entered race: Apr. 13, 2019 Age: 37 Education: B.A., Harvard University; B.A., Pembroke College, Oxford Veteran: Yes Best known for: Serving as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and being a former Naval intelligence officer. Strength: He's won over voters and many skeptics with his intelligence and an articulate yet plain-spoken speaking style. He's also shown an ability to inspire voters of different ages with a message of hope and "a new generation of leadership" and has been able to raise millions more than many of his Democratic rivals.
Weakness: His youth and lack of political experience - his only public office has been leading the community of about 100,000 people - will give some voters pause. He also will need to ramp up his campaign operations and do more to appeal to minority voters in order to maintain his early momentum.
Julián Castro, ex-HUD secretary (dropped out)
Entered race: Jan. 12, 2019 Dropped out: Jan. 2, 2020 Age: 45 Education: B.A., Stanford University; J.D., Harvard Law School Veteran: No Best known for: Serving as housing secretary during President Barack Obama's second term and as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, for five years. Strength: His youthfulness and status as the only Latino in the race could help him win the votes of Democrats looking for a new face of their party.
Weakness: His fundraising lags well behind other contenders.
John Delaney, former congressman from Maryland
Entered race: July 28, 2017 Age: 56 Education: B.S., Columbia University; J.D., Georgetown University Veteran: No Best known for: Being a former congressman from Maryland. Strength: He has rolled out a rural-focus policy that includes proposals to strengthen family farmers and rural infrastructure, a plan that could play well in the battleground Rust Belt states won by Trump.
Weakness: Low name recognition.
Tulsi Gabbard, congresswoman from Hawaii
Entered race: Jan. 11, 2019 Age: 38 Education: B.A., Hawaii Pacific University Veteran: Yes Best known for: Serving as a U.S. representative for Hawaii; the first American Samoan and first Hindu to be elected to Congress. Strength: Her military service in Iraq and Kuwait with the Hawaii National Guard.
Weakness: She has been criticized for traveling to Syria in 2017 to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes and even genocide. She was also forced to apologize for her past work advocating against gay rights.
Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New York (dropped out)
Entered race: March 17, 2019 Dropped out: Aug. 28, 2019 Age: 52 Education: B.A., Dartmouth College; J.D., UCLA Veteran: No Best known for: The senator from New York is one of her chamber's most vocal members on issues of sexual harassment, military sexual assault, equal pay for women and family leave. Strength: Not being afraid to defy her own party in the #MeToo era, calling early for Democratic Sen. Al Franken's resignation over sexual misconduct allegations and saying Bill Clinton should have voluntarily left the presidency over an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.
Weakness: Sluggish campaign fundraising in the wake of some unpleasant #MeToo headlines of her own, with Gillibrand acknowledging there were mistakes made when her Senate office investigated allegations of sexual misconduct against various staffers. Her campaign never caught fire; she failed to qualify for the third Democratic debate and she called it quits Aug. 28 with a tweeted video to supporters.
Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California (dropped out)
Entered race: Jan. 21, 2019 Dropped out: Dec. 3, 2019 Age: 55 Education: B.A., Howard University; J.D., University of California Hastings College of Law Veteran: No Best known for: The former California attorney general is now the junior U.S. senator from California, known for her rigorous questioning of Trump's nominees. Strength: As the one black woman in the race, she's able to tap into networks like historically black colleges and universities and her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority that haven't been fully realized before.
Weakness: Her prosecutorial record has come under scrutiny amid a push for criminal justice reform.
John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor (dropped out)
Entered race: March 4, 2019 Dropped out: Aug. 15, 2019 Age: 67 Education: B.A., M.A., Wesleyan University Veteran: No Best known for:
Being a quirky brewpub owner who became a politician late in life, rising to governor of Colorado.
Strength: An unorthodox political persona and successful electoral track record in a swing state. He was one of the few governors in a race heavy with senators and D.C. stalwarts.
Weakness: He previously joked that he was too centrist to win the Democratic nomination, and his moderate approach warning of the perils of extreme partisanship did not take root among Democratic voters. He was another white male baby boomer in a party filled with younger and more diverse candidates that better reflect its base. After flagging in the polls and in fundraising, he called it quits in August, opting to seek a senate seat instead.
Jay Inslee, Washington governor (dropped out)
Entered race: March 1, 2019 Dropped out: Aug. 21, 2019 Age: 68 Education: B.A., University of Washington; J.D., Willamette University Veteran: No Best known for:
Being governor of Washington state and a former congressman.
Strength: His campaign emphasized combating climate change, which he framed as an economic opportunity in addition to a moral imperative.
Weakness: He risked being labeled a one-issue candidate. Inslee struggled to gain traction in the crowded Democratic field and was in danger of failing to meet the requirements for future debates. He bowed out Aug. 21, opting to run for a third term as Washington governor.
Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from Minnesota
Entered race: Feb. 10, 2019 Age: 59 Education: B.A., Yale; J.D., University of Chicago Veteran: No Best known for: The three-term Minnesota senator raised her national profile during a Senate committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when she asked him whether he had ever had so much to drink that he didn't remember what happened. He replied, "Have you?" Strength: She's known as a pragmatic lawmaker willing to work with Republicans to get things done, a quality that's helped her win across Minnesota, including in rural areas that supported Trump in 2016. She says her Midwestern sensibilities would help Democrats reclaim critical battlegrounds like Wisconsin and Michigan.
Weakness: Her pragmatism may work against her in a primary, as Democratic voters increasingly embrace more liberal policies and positions. There have also been news reports that she has mistreated staff.
Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida (dropped out)
Entered race: March 28, 2019 Dropped out: Nov. 20, 2019 Age: 45 Education: B.S., Florida State University Veteran: No Best known for: Serving as the mayor of Miramar, Florida, and playing on the Florida State University Seminoles' 1993 national championship football team. Strength: He touts his mayoral experience balancing government regulations needed to protect the environment while allowing room for companies to prosper.
Weakness: Low name recognition and funding.
Seth Moulton, congressman from Massachusetts (dropped out)
Entered race: April 22, 2019 Dropped out: Aug. 23, 2019 Age: 41 Education: B.S., M.B.A., M.P.P., Harvard University Veteran: Yes Best known for: The Massachusetts congressman and Iraq War veteran gained national attention for helping lead an effort within the party to reject Nancy Pelosi as House speaker after Democrats regained control of the chamber. Strength: Military and congressional experience.
Weakness: Low name recognition, late start on the fundraising necessary to qualify for the summer debate stage. Moulton's candidacy failed to take flight amid the packed field, and he abandoned his bid Aug. 23.
Beto O'Rourke, former congressman from Texas (dropped out)
Entered race: March 14, 2019 Dropped out: Nov. 1, 2019 Age: 47 Education: B.A., Columbia University Veteran: No Best known for: The former congressman narrowly lost the 2018 Senate race to Republican Ted Cruz in Texas, the country's largest conservative state. Strength: A do-it-yourself campaign style that packed lots of travel and multiple events into long days and encouraged off-the-cuff discussions with voters that still allowed O'Rourke to talk up his days as a onetime punk rock guitarist and his love for his home on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Weakness: He was longer on enthusiasm and vague, bipartisan optimism than actual policy ideas; his strong early fundraising slipped and on Nov. 1 he wrote on Medium that ''this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully.''
Tim Ryan, congressman from Ohio (dropped out)
Entered race: Apr. 4, 2019 Dropped out: October 24, 2019 Age: 46 Education: B.S., Bowling Green State University; J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center Veteran: No Best known for: The Ohio congressman made an unsuccessful bid to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader in 2016. Strength: Ryan touted himself as a candidate who could bridge Democrats' progressive and working-class wings to win the White House.
Weakness: Low name recognition, a late start on grassroots fundraising and a campaign that failed to take off in a crowded field shut him out of fall debates. He ended his White House bid and opted to run for reelection to his House seat.
Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator from Vermont
Entered race: Feb. 19, 2019 Age: 78 Education: B.S., University of Chicago Veteran: No Best known for: A 2016 presidential primary campaign against Hillary Clinton that laid the groundwork for the leftward lurch that has dominated Democratic politics in the Trump era. Strength: The Vermont senator, who identifies himself as a democratic socialist, generated progressive energy that fueled his insurgent 2016 campaign and the best fundraising numbers of any Democrat so far.
Weakness: Expanding his appeal beyond his largely white base of supporters.
Eric Swalwell, congressman from California (dropped out)
Entered race: April 8, 2019 Dropped out: July 8, 2019 Age: 38 Education: B.A., J.D., University of Maryland Veteran: No Best known for: The California congressman is a frequent guest on cable news criticizing President Donald Trump. Strength: Media savvy and youthfulness could appeal to young voters.
Weakness: Low name recognition, late start on grassroots fundraising. In July he became the first of the crowded Democratic field to end his presidential bid, opting instead to try to keep his congressional seat.
Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts
Age: 70 Education: B.S., University of Houston; J.D., Rutgers University Veteran: No Best known for: The senator from Massachusetts and former Harvard University law professor whose calls for greater consumer protections led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama. Strength: Warren has presented a plethora of progressive policy ideas, including eliminating existing student loan debt for millions of Americans, breaking up farming monopolies and mammoth technology firms, implementing a "wealth tax" on households with high net worth and providing universal child care.
Weakness: She is viewed as one of the most liberal candidates in the Democratic field, which could hurt her among moderates. Her policy-heavy approach also risks alienating voters at a time when other candidates are appealing to hearts as much as to minds.
Marianne Williamson, spiritual leader/author (dropped out)
Entered race: Jan. 28, 2019 Dropped out: Jan. 10, 2020 Age: 67 Education: Pomona College Veteran: No Best known for: Best-selling author and spiritual leader. Strength: Outsider who could draw interest from voters who are fans of her books.
Weakness: Low name recognition, little political experience.
Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
Entered race: Nov. 6, 2017 Age: 44 Education: B.A., Brown University; J.D., Columbia Law School Veteran: No Best known for: Entrepreneur who has generated buzz with his signature proposal for universal basic income to give every American $1,000 a month, no strings attached. Strength: Robust policy agenda, tech-savvy.
Weakness: Low name recognition, no political experience.
Michael Bennet, U.S. senator from Colorado
Entered race: May 2, 2019 Age: 54 Education: B.A., Wesleyan University; J.D., Yale Law School Veteran: No Best known for: A scorching speech slamming Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas during the recent government shutdown, then publicly announcing that he had prostate cancer in March. Strength: Bennet is viewed as a wonky, issue-oriented pragmatist who has won tough campaigns, which could be a winning combination for Democratic voters who don't want to veer too far left but are eager to beat Trump. Weakness: Bennet is not as well known as many other senators competing for the Democratic nomination and has no natural base.
Steve Bullock, Montana governor (dropped out)
Entered race: May 14, 2019 Dropped out: Dec. 2, 2019 Age: 53 Education: B.A., Claremont McKenna College; J.D., Columbia Law School Veteran: No Best known for:
Serving as governor of Montana since 2013.
Strength: He's the only statewide elected official in the field who has won a state that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.
Weakness: Low name recognition as the chief executive of one of the least-populated U.S. states as well as raising enough money and getting enough support in polls to qualify for Democrats' first debates in June.
Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor (dropped out)
Entered race: May 16, 2019 Dropped out: Sept. 20, 2019 Age: 58 Education: B.A., New York University; M.A., Columbia University Veteran: No Best known for: Serving as New York City's mayor since 2014. Strength: The leader of the nation's biggest city sought to cite accomplishments such as expanding full-day prekindergarten citywide and curtailing police tactics that critics said were discriminatory, while presiding over continued drops in violent crime.
Weakness: He faced skepticism even at home, with a majority of New Yorkers saying he shouldn't run. He faced obstacles in trying to distinguish himself in a field crowded with left-leaning Democrats. He never polled above 1% in national polls, failing to qualify for September's debate. With a campaign failing to catch fire, he called it quits Sept. 20.
Mike Gravel, former U.S. senator from Alaska (dropped out)
Entered race: March 19, 2019 Dropped out: July 31, 2019 Age: 89 Education: B.S., Columbia University Veteran: Yes Best known for: Serving as U.S. senator representing Alaska from 1969 to 1981 who read the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record. He also ran for president unsuccessfully in 2008, first as a Democrat and then as a Libertarian. Biggest strength: Long antiwar record, which could play well with the progressive wing of the party. Biggest weakness: Oldest candidate in the race by far. Gravel's campaign has previously said he wanted to make the debate stage in an effort to push the party to the left, not to win.
Joe Sestak, former congressman from Pennsylvania (dropped out)
Entered race: June 23, 2019 Dropped out: Dec. 1, 2019 Age: 67 Education: B.S., U.S. Naval Academy; M.P.A., Ph.D., Harvard University Veteran: Yes Best known for: The former congressman from Pennsylvania went against party elders, including Obama and Biden, and challenged Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in the state's 2010 Democratic primary, which Sestak won before losing the general election to Republican Pat Toomey. Strength: He is known as a tireless campaigner and has decades of national defense experience in the Navy.
Weakness: His go-it-alone campaign strategy in 2010 and again in 2016 sowed deep resentments by Democratic Party leaders in Washington and Pennsylvania. He has been out of public office since 2010, and his public speaking style can come across as stilted and affected.
Tom Steyer, investor/activist
Entered race: July 9, 2019 Age: 62 Education: B.A., Yale University; MBA, Stanford University Veteran: No Best known for: The former hedge fund manager and activist for environmental causes launched a campaign in 2017 to impeach Donald Trump. Strength: The billionaire's personal wealth could allow him to outlast his more poorly funded rivals on the long slog to the primaries.
Weakness: His late entry may hinder the hiring of key staff, many of whom have already been snapped up by other candidates, and he could be kept off the stage for future debates, which are determined by fundraising strength and poll numbers.
Deval Patrick, former Massachusetts governor
Entered race: Nov. 14, 2019 Age: 63 Education: B.A., Harvard University; J.D., Harvard Law School Veteran: No Best known for: Massachusetts' first black governor, served from 2007 to 2015. Strength: The popular, moderate former governor could position himself as a potential bridge across the factions of the Democratic Party. He also has close ties to former President Barack Obama.
Weakness: He is late in joining an already crowded field and may struggle to raise money.
Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor
Entered race: Nov. 24, 2019 Age: 77 Education: B.S., Johns Hopkins University; MBA, Harvard University Veteran: No Best known for: The billionaire businessman and philanthropist served three terms as mayor of New York City. Strength: He could use his considerable personal wealth to bankroll a presidential bid.
Weakness: Getting into the race late; being known as a party-switcher from Democrat to Republican to independent and back to Democrat.