(CNN) — Sen. Cory Booker‘s 2020 presidential campaign team is making an urgent appeal to supporters as the end of the third quarter nears, warning that the New Jersey Democrat’s campaign will need a significant fundraising surge to remain competitive in the race.
“The next 10 days will determine whether Cory Booker can stay in this race and compete to win the nomination,” Booker’s campaign manager Addisu Demissie wrote in a memo Saturday sent to supporters.
That blunt assessment comes at a crucial juncture in the 2020 race, as other Democratic campaigns are aggressively building out their operations, and with the Democratic National Committee poised to raise the polling and donor thresholds for the November debates. To meet these challenges, Demissie said the campaign needs to net $1.7 million by September 30.
“Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter,” Demissie wrote,” we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward.”
Breathless fundraising appeals are not uncommon among political campaigns, but Demissie stressed in the memo that his dire warning wasn’t merely a “stunt.”
“This is a real, unvarnished look under the hood of our operation at a level of transparency unprecedented in modern presidential campaigns,” he wrote.
Booker has garnered praise for his debate performances and appearances at candidate cattle calls throughout the summer — but that has so far failed to translate into a boost for his campaign, which has remained stalled in the low single digits in polling.
He has also lagged in fundraising behind the field’s top tier during the previous two quarters, putting even more pressure on the campaign to post strong numbers in the third quarter.