The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.
Read about our Q4 strategy below, which includes raising nearly $3 million in the month of October. Help us get a head start on this month’s goal by chipping in here.
It’s been 10 days since Cory 2020 opened up to our supporters, friends, and the world about the high stakes of the closing days of September for our campaign: if we didn’t change our fundraising trajectory by the end of the month by raising an additional $1.7 million, we wouldn’t be able to grow our operation in time for Cory to compete for the nomination with the four best-resourced candidates in the field. Early voting begins in January, and you can’t build the organization you need to compete overnight. We knew it was now or never.
It was a true make-or-break moment for our campaign. So we decided to do something no major campaign has done before: radical transparency — giving a real, unvarnished look at the stark reality of where things stood — because we believed it was the best way to give our wonderful supporters across the country and everyone who knows that Cory brings a unique, important voice to this campaign a chance to rally behind him while there was still time to help determine what the final field of Democratic candidates will look like.
We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the response since September 21st. We announced yesterday morning that we’d eclipsed our $1.7 million goal in just nine days, and today, I’m proud to report that our 10 day push raised a total of $2,159,165.34 from more than 46,000 donations.
And we can now confirm that September was our best fundraising month of the campaign, and the third quarter of 2019 was our best fundraising quarter, thanks to the past 10 days. We will report raising over $6 million in Q3, a greater than 30 percent increase over our Q2 number. While other campaigns’ fundraising trajectory has slowed, Cory 2020 is on the rise.
You can do the math: more than a third of what we raised this quarter came in the last 10 days, the best fundraising stretch of our campaign. To the tens of thousands who chipped in and raised your voices in support of Cory’s candidacy this year and during this critical period: thank you.
Because of you, we’ll be able to make critical investments that will allow us to continue growing our campaign in the way we need to compete to win the nomination — investments that I will discuss in greater detail below.
But know this: while we’ve succeeded at climbing this hill, there are more challenges to come. While we have and can continue to do more with less, we must pick up the pace to continue being competitive with better-funded campaigns in this field. Our September 30th goal was very much the floor and not the ceiling — and in the weeks to come we’ll be asking more of all of those who want to keep Cory’s important voice in this race. What the last 10 days have done is put us firmly in the game.
State of the Race: Wide Open
Despite the ongoing fixation with horserace polling (and despite the fact that horserace polling is so often very wrong this far out…just ask presidents Rudy Giuliani, Rick Perry, and Howard Dean), the fact is that with more than 120 days to go before Democrats start caucusing and voting, this nomination contest is wide open.
Far more important than horserace numbers at this stage of the campaign are the underlying fundamentals of the race and perceptions of the candidates.
To that end, according to a national NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll released on September 17th, only 9 percent of Democrats say their minds are definitely made up about who they’re supporting for the nomination. And a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll released on September 21st shows only six Democratic candidates are being considered in some way by more than 40 percent of caucusgoers — and Cory is in that group.
Cory’s net favorability numbers are continuing to grow among Democratic voters, and internal and public polling alike shows that Cory’s unique and longstanding message of uniting and bringing people together to overcome tough challenges is deeply resonant with a Democratic electorate looking for a healer after the hatred and division of the Trump era. That same Iowa poll from above, for example, found that 54 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers are seeking a nominee who “will take the high road against Donald Trump,” and 63 percent want someone who “takes positions that seek common ground.”
In short, this is a race we can win — if we have the resources we need to steadily grow our campaign and show Democratic voters that Cory is the right candidate for this moral moment in our country’s history.
We’re not seeking to manufacture a fleeting breakout moment months away from the first contests. Our strategy since day one of this campaign has been about building — brick-by-brick — a campaign to grow steadily through the long primary season, and win when voting begins.
Cory 2020’s Next Moves: Continuing to Build a Campaign That Can Win
In the coming weeks, we will be using this infusion of resources to invest in the growth of Cory 2020’s organizing and fundraising infrastructure:
We will hire 40 new staff across our campaign over the next six weeks. From expanding our organizing capacity in the early states to adding critical support staff and program leads in our Newark headquarters, we will double down on our biggest advantage: the people that make up the Cory 2020 team. (More on this below.)
In October, we will open new field offices in the early states. And even as we expand our campaign beyond the early states this fall, we will remain committed to our strategy of organizing and competing in the best traditions of these first-in-the-nation states — and believe it will pay off when Democrats head to caucus and vote in February.
This month, we’ll launch our ballot access program to ensure Cory is on the ballot for all 57 nominating contests. This will include hiring and deploying staff to those states in which ballot qualification deadlines are rapidly approaching, some as soon as early November. (Believe it or not, there are some purportedly serious campaigns in this race who are either ignoring this step or overlooking it, at their peril.)
We’ll be making a six-figure investment in building our email list, bringing new supporters into Cory 2020 and further expanding our ability to organize and fundraise.
And more immediately, in addition to traveling to Nevada this week, Cory will be making a four-day trip to Iowa beginning on October 6th. More details on the contours of that trip will be released in the coming days.
Radical Transparency…Continued: The State of the Cory 2020 Budget
We feel confident in making these commitments and investments now because of the fundraising success and trajectory of the past 10 days. But as I mentioned above, we have to continue this momentum in the critical weeks to come in order to sustain and build upon this growth.
We’ve set a new standard for openness with our friends and supporters when it comes to our fundraising goals, and we’re going to continue this transparency. We believe our supporters — which now number more than 165,000 unique donors — deserve to know how their money is being spent and what the financial outlook of our campaign looks like. And if the last 10 days are any indication, we believe that they — and many more — will continue to provide us with the resources we need to run, to grow, and to win.
Cory 2020’s current projected expenses for the fourth quarter of 2019, after making the growth investments outlined above, are $7,213,882 — over $4,000,000 of which represents the payroll and benefits costs for the amazing team we have assembled across the country. We were among the first candidates to build out our team on the ground in the early primary states and in our national headquarters and, in doing so, were able to recruit some of the best and most experienced talent, from our field organizers to national senior staff.
We have worked hard in the first eight months of this campaign to keep overhead costs low so that we can invest as much as possible in the most important resource of any campaign: its people. That includes living Cory’s Democratic values in how we treat our employees — providing generous benefits, covering 100% of health insurance costs, guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and ensuring that staff are promptly reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses. We continue to believe that it is the Cory 2020 team — not just our staff, but our volunteers, endorsers, and donors — who will ultimately be the driving force behind our successes when voting begins in just over four months.
With that said, we still anticipate spending about $3,100,000 in the last three months of the year on everything from office rents to digital advertising and list building to cybersecurity to commercial flight costs to send Cory across the country to campaign (he visited 18 states in August alone, so that expense adds up quickly!).
This budget reflects what we believe it costs, at this stage of the race, to run a presidential campaign that has a real chance of victory. And we of course know we will need to continue growing and investing to increase those chances as we approach February’s first contests.
$2,498,771 is exactly what we are projecting it will take to cover Cory 2020’s expenses for October, and thus fully fund our new growth budget for the month. Raising an additional $500,000 in October will allow us, in November and December, to make additional growth investments as fall turns to winter — including funding our get-out-the-vote program and beginning paid persuasion advertising.
The good news: while ambitious, we know $3 million in a month is an attainable goal — because we just raised over $3.1 million in September. Most importantly, at this point, it is the real amount we think we need to sustain, grow, and remain competitive in this primary contest.
As we have during this stretch, we’ll continue to provide periodic public updates on our progress toward this $3 million goal (though we’ll pull back a little bit from the thrice-daily website thermometer updates…our data and digital teams need a little bit of a breather!).
The Road Ahead
The past 10 days have given Cory Booker a grassroots mandate to continue in this campaign.
We put out the call to Cory’s friends and supporters to show the world the strength of his candidacy and they answered it loudly and clearly, to the tune of nearly $2.2 million dollars in 10 days.
We now have the ability to keep our campaign growing, and the responsibility to continue being transparent with our supporters about our path to victory.
But it is Cory’s ability to ignite that spirit of activism — and to unite Democrats in a sense of common purpose — that is how he is going to win this nomination, beat Donald Trump, and deliver real justice and opportunity for every American as president.