Julián Castro Qualifies for Democratic Presidential Debate in Houston

WASHINGTON -- Julián Castro has qualified for the next Democratic presidential debate in Houston, giving him what could be a make or break opportunity next month to showcase his campaign in his home state.The former San Antonio mayor and U.S. housing secretary on Tuesday registered at 2% in a CNN national poll of 2020 Democrats.That result allowed him to meet the polling standard set out by the Democratic National Committee to make the debate stage. He had already cleared the necessary fundraising threshold of receiving donations from 130,000 individuals.So with eight days left to qualify, Castro became the tenth Democrat to secure a spot."Thank you to our growing number of supporters across the country," he wrote on Twitter, responding to the CNN report that broke the news. Already confirmed for the Sept. 12 debate at Texas Southern University were former El Paso Rep. Beto O'Rourke, former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and businessman Andrew Yang.Many of the top contenders long ago met the criteria for the third showdown. But Castro has been among those on the fence as his underdog campaign has remained mired in the polls, both nationally and in early primary states like Iowa.Candidates had to register at 2% or more in at least four DNC-approved polls completed between June 28 and August 28. The CNN poll released on Tuesday showed Castro at exactly 2%, which was good enough to place him eighth among registered Democratic voters.Castro, the only Latino in the field, likely needs a strong showing at the Houston debate to propel his campaign forward.He won plaudits after the first two sets of debates, particularly for taking on candidates like O'Rourke and Biden over his plan to decriminalize illegal border crossings. But any boosts from this performances have not appeared to be sustained.  Continue reading...

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