Cory Booker suspends presidential campaign

(Gray News/AP) - Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has suspended his presidential campaign, thanking his supporters via Twitter.

Booker announced Monday that he was ending a campaign whose message of unity and love failed to gain traction in a political era marked by chaos and anxiety.

He experienced polling and fundraising struggles, which prevented him from participating in the latest televised debate.

Booker rose to national prominence as a mayor in Newark who saved a woman in a house fire in 2012, but Booker didn’t have the momentum he needed to carry him to the first primary votes in Iowa.

He joins Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York as members of Congress who tried and failed to generate sufficient enthusiasm in the Democratic primary.

Booker warned last week that the coming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump spelled trouble for his presidential campaign because it would take him from Iowa in the weeks before the critical Iowa caucuses.

A Democratic field that was once the most diverse in history has dwindled in recent weeks, with former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick the only remaining African American candidate.

Presidential candidates have swarmed Iowa’s rolling landscape for more than a year, making their pitch to potential supporters on college campuses, county fairgrounds and in high school gymnasiums.

But three weeks before the caucuses usher in the Democratic contest, the battle for the state is wide open.

A cluster of candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, along with former Vice President Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, enter the final stretch with a plausible chance of winning Iowa’s caucuses.

A poll released Friday by The Des Moines Register and CNN found them all with similar levels of support.

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