Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker (D-N.J.) hasn't qualified for the next Democratic primary debate, but he still plans ahead to forge ahead with his campaign.
"Today is the deadline for the DNC's December debate qualifying threshold—and while I may not be on the debate stage next Thursday, 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," the candidate said Thursday morning in a Twitter thread.
That "path to victory," Booker says, will lead him to talking to voters directly, instead of on the debate stage.
"Next week, I'll be on the road hearing directly from and sharing my vision with the people who will determine the outcome of this race—the way it should be," Booker added. "I'll be doing what we've done for the last 10 months of this campaign and throughout my time in public service—meeting people where they are, in living rooms and church basements, at coffee shops and in diners, and discussing how to tackle the most pressing challenges we face."
In order to qualify the December DNC debate — which will be held next week in Los Angeles — candidates had to clear the thresholds of both 200,000 individual donors with a minimum of at least 800 per state in 20 states and pulling down at least 4% in four qualifying polls or 6% in two state polls. Booker cleared the donor requirement, but not the polling requirement, according to FiveThirtyEight, which notes that he didn't clear 4% in a single qualifying poll.
Booker is currently polling at under 2%, according to RealClearPolitics' average.
As of Thursday morning, seven Democratic candidates had qualified for the upcoming event: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Bernie Sanders (Vt.), and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), billionaire Tom Steyer, businessman Andrew Yang, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Earlier this week, candidate and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) announced that, even if she qualified for the upcoming debate, that she wouldn't participate "for a number of reasons." Instead, she said she would "spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina."