Booker raises $6.6 million in fourth quarter

Sen. Cory Booker raised $6.6 million for his presidential bid last quarter, his campaign announced Friday.

While that amount is only about $600,000 greater than what he brought in during the third quarter of last year, the total still represents his largest haul yet.

In a statement, Booker’s campaign said that more than half of the $6.6 million came from new donors as the New Jersey Democrat struggles to stay in the race ahead of the Iowa caucuses in exactly one month.

The former Newark mayor is also looking to earn a spot on the last primary debate stage before voting begins after missing out on the most recent debate last month. But he has struggled to reach the polling threshold set by the Democratic National Committee.

Campaign manager Addisu Demissie celebrated Booker’s total, which he said came despite “artificial thresholds that prevented viable candidates” like Booker from participating in last month’s debate in Los Angeles.

Still, Booker's fourth-quarter fundraising lags far behind several of his competitors. Of the seven other Democratic candidates who have announced their Q4 totals so far, Booker outraised only Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

Booker’s total was dwarfed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, who so far leads the field with more than $34 million in donations the past quarter, followed by former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised $24.7 million.

Demissie acknowledged the stark state of the race, but cast Booker's candidacy as more critical than ever after watching fellow candidates of color Julián Castro and Sen. Kamala Harris exit the race in the last month.

“To put it bluntly, we’re still behind the fundraising of a field of predominantly white candidates who have been able to haul in significantly greater sums of money or tap into their personal fortunes to fund their campaigns,” Demissie said. “In the wake of Julián Castro’s departure, we find ourselves at a juncture where what started out as the most diverse field of candidates running for president in our nation’s history is increasingly becoming one that does not reflect the rich diversity of our party and of our country."

The campaign’s average online donation in the fourth quarter was $22.98, his campaign said. But it did not disclose how much cash it has on hand, a key metric that gives a clearer financial picture of a campaign.