Hunter Walker Mon, Sep 3 10:34 AM EDT
WASHINGTON — The current midterm election cycle has been a long strange trip for New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Since the start of last year, Booker has been traveling to campaign on behalf of more than 25 of his fellow Democrats in 19 states.
“I think this might be, and I’m including presidential election years — Hillary had me all over the place — but this is probably some of the most intense travel of my life,” Booker said in an interview with Yahoo News last week.
Booker is one of the more high-profile Democrats in the Senate and is regularly described as a leading contender for the White House in 2020. Given the presidential speculation, all of Booker’s moves, particularly campaign travel, are scrutinized as potential steps toward a run. However, Booker’s trips so far haven’t hit the obvious spots for a presidential launch.
Other Democrats rumored to have eyes on the race have already visited early primary states. While Booker has been all over the map, he thus far hasn’t visited the three early primary states that would be the most obvious springboards for a presidential bid — Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Booker insisted those states aren’t determining his travel plans.
“I’m working on a trip to North Dakota. I’m going down to Texas. … This is not something for me planning for anything beyond November 2018,” Booker said. “For me, this is not about ‘swirl.’ This is about unyielding focus on November the 6th.”
Booker believes the Democrats have a shot at taking back Congress.
“The Democrats have a … better-than-even chance of taking back the House,” Booker said. “I think that we have a better chance to take back the Senate than people gave Donald Trump of winning the presidency, so it is a realistic chance.”