This is an excerpt from The Stakes 2020, BuzzFeed News’ newsletter about what really matters in the 2020 campaign. You can sign up here.
Senator Cory Booker is one of the most naturally gifted political figures you’ll ever meet, and you can’t make up his résumé: A Stanford football recruit, Rhodes scholar, and dynamic mayor known for sometimes goofy, superheroic stunts and great ease on social media. He personally shoveled snow for constituents during a blizzard. He’s dating a movie star.
So why is Booker stuck low in the second tier of polling? Is he talking too much about love in an angry moment? Too interested in economic moderation at a radical one? You’ll see in our conversation below his voracity to answer every question, save one, and maybe you’ll have a theory. Or maybe his emoji explanation is the answer, and he’ll walk away with the nomination in February.
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Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
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