Julian Castro is the latest candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination to qualify for the debate stage in September’s third round of debates in Houston. Castro served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama’s administration.
Castro qualified for the debate this week after achieving 2% support in a CNN/SSRS poll released on Tuesday, Aug. 20. In order to qualify for the next debate on Sept. 12, candidates must have achieved 2% support in at least four DNC-sanctioned polls. In addition, candidates must receive donations from at least 130,000 individual donors.
Castro, who had previously scored 2% in three prior polls and had met the donor requirement, will be the tenth candidate to qualify for September’s debate, along with former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
The DNC’s heightened requirements for the next debate have managed to pare down the debate field to half—from 20 to 10 candidates, though so far only three of the 23 stated candidates for the Democratic nomination have formally withdrawn. Those withdrawals include Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, along with Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.) and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) is near to qualifying, but needs support in two more official polls.
Castro, who has stood out from other Democratic candidates in prior debates primarily due to his knowledge and views on immigration reform, gained some publicity when his brother, Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro (Texas), publicly denounced 44 residents in his congressional district for making significant donations to President Trump’s election campaign.
This occurred the day after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people. Joaquin Castro blamed President Trump for language the president has used in describing illegal immigrants crossing the southern border and calling for tighter border security.
Billionaire Tom Steyer Near to Joining Debates
Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedgefund manager and environmental activist from San Francisco, was a late entry among hopefuls for the 2020 Democratic nomination. However, he currently needs just one more 2% showing in a sanctioned poll to join the debate stage. He has reportedly already met the donor requirement.
Steyer, along with his wife Kathryn, are among the top lifetime donors to the Democratic party, having donated nearly $240 million through this year. He has also been one of the most outspoken lobbyists in favor of impeachment proceedings against President Trump, and has pledged to donate $40 million to the effort.
Steyer’s late entry in the race was a calculated move, and may prove to be a shrewd one. He is just one favorable poll result away from joining Democratic leaders in Houston.