Flush with cash injection, Booker returns to Iowa

BY David Cruz, Senior Correspondent |

In his “slow and steady wins the race” strategy, Sen. Cory Booker eschews some of the big budget, big crowd events of some of the other leading candidates, but during his latest swing through the Hawkeye State, Booker took the time to stop by a house party in rural Saint Ansgar Sunday evening.

With a robust staff presence, the campaign feels like it can get a bigger bang for the buck.

“He’s definitely up there for me now,” said Larissa Weber of nearby Osage, who started the day as an Elizabeth Warren supporter. “I’d always liked him a lot, but I’ve kind of been laying low and I hadn’t heard that much about him, but he really blew me away. I like what he talked about: the big tent, uniting everybody. That’s what I worry about Warren is that she doesn’t appeal to everybody.”

“I’m not running for savior; I’m running for president, and I believe this is a team sport,” said Booker.

Renae Mauser also started the day as a Warren supporter, but she said Booker’s heart won her over. She spoke about exactly what made her make the switch.

“You know, just talking about all different groups of people that live in this country, you know,” said Mauser, another Osage resident. “We kind of live in a bubble here. We’re a very white county, and I think it’s hard for people to see other people’s plights and things that they go through, and I think we have to understand each other and each other’s journeys and I don’t know, he just really spoke to my heart and I thought he was great.”

Booker’s staff – which estimates about a 10% rate of commitments to caucus – scouted the selfie line and swooped in on Mauser, who signed up.

The host of Sunday’s event was activist Kurt Meyer, who met Booker for the first time when the senator crashed at his home last January.

“He’s very persuasive,” said Meyer.

While Booker’s currently polling low, Meyer said that he’s mostly optimistic.

“I think that as he interacts with more and more voters that could change,” said Meyers. “In some cases, it’s going to be moving people from undecided into his category. I think in many cases he’s on the ‘I’m still looking at these 3, 4 or 5.’ But I think as the date nears and as he focuses his message and as he has a chance to interact with specific voters and groups like this, I wouldn’t be at all surprised, in fact I do suspect, he will rise in the polls.”

While there are no outward signs of the impact that the recent $2 million fundraising push has had on this campaign, a staffer did say that they soon expect more people as the campaign digs in in Iowa.

Read more about Sen. Cory Booker as he continues his campaign to become the next president of the United States at The Booker Beat.