Cory Booker out of race for Democratic nomination

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US Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker has announced he is ending his campaign after disappointing poll numbers.

The African-American New Jersey senator had failed to qualify for the Democratic debate on Tuesday in Iowa.

The former rising star’s message of unity at a time of deeply divided politics failed to win over voters in the crowded 2020 field.

There are now 12 Democrats remaining in the race for the White House.

“Today I’m suspending my campaign for president with the same spirit with which it began,” Mr Booker said in a video announcing the end of his campaign.

In an email to supporters he said: “I’m proud of the ideas we brought to this Democratic primary and, more importantly, the values we championed throughout – that the only way we make progress is by bringing people together – even when we were told that our approach couldn’t win.”

Mr Booker, 50, had focused his campaign on a message of “love and unity” to combat what he depicted as Mr Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

But his prescriptions for criminal justice reform, as well as reducing economic and racial inequality failed to resonate with voters.

The former Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, had polled an average of 2% nationally, according to RealClearPolitics data.

Front-runners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have been polling at 29% and 20% on average respectively.

Mr Booker was unable to match his competitors in fundraising. Politico reported he pulled in only $6m (£4.6m) in the final quarter of last year, far less than his top-tier rivals.

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