His campaign seems stalled. But the Senator says he’s right where he wants to be
Booker greets supporters in Cedar Rapids before the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame event on June 9

IT’S A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN JUNE, more than an hour before the largest gathering of 2020 Democratic candidates in Iowa to date, and Cory Booker is getting mobbed on the streets of Cedar Rapids. Reaching over a low wall of signs spelling out his name, the New Jersey Senator hugs supporters and shakes their hands. Sunlight bounces off his bald head. He jumps into the bed of a pickup truck and takes the microphone, roaring over the fans cheering him on, telling them it’s this kind of organization that will win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Booker makes his way down a sidewalk chalked with supportive messages, crosses the street and walks into a DoubleTree hotel, where he’ll soon be the first of 19 candidates to take the stage for the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame event. All of them are hoping to say something in their allotted five minutes that will resonate with Iowans—or, better yet, have a viral moment that gives their campaign a spark.

Booker needs one. Months into the race, he remains mired in the middle of the pack, drawing 3% or less in most national and

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