2020 Presidential Race

Julián Castro qualifies for third Democratic debate in September

To qualify for the September and October debates, candidates must receive donations from at least 130,000 individual donors and get 2% support in four polls.

Presidential candidate Julian Castro speaks at the National Education Association presidential forum in Houston on Friday, July 5, 2019.  (Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

2020 Presidential Race

We're tracking the Texas stories in the presidential contest, from the Texans in the race to all candidates' efforts to reach voters and raise money in the state. We've also compiled stories from our archives related to Texans running for president.

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Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro tweeted Tuesday morning that he has achieved the polling requirement to qualify for the primary debate in Houston this fall.

Castro received 2% in a CNN poll conducted by the survey and research firm SSRS that was released Tuesday. To qualify for the September and October debates, candidates must hit the 130,000-donor threshold and get 2% support in four polls — a higher bar than what the national party set for the first two debates in Miami and Detroit. Castro reached 130,000 donors, surpassing the other threshold for fall primary debates, in July.

“Thank you to our growing number of supporters across the country,” Castro tweeted Tuesday morning, along with a link to a CNN article stating he got a fourth qualifying poll to participate in the debate. The other Texan running for president, Beto O’Rourke, has already qualified for the Houston debate.

According to Castro’s campaign, the Democrat had previously surpassed 2% in national polls from Washington Post/ABC News and NBC News and an Iowa poll from CBS News.

“With two standout debate performances, Secretary Castro has been building momentum for his candidacy,” campaign manager Maya Rupert said in a statement. “He has never wanted to be a ‘flash in the pan’ candidate, but rather has continued to build support and momentum by leading the field on critical issues and showing voters every day why he’s the best candidate to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump.”

Aside from O’Rourke and Castro, eight candidates have now met the qualifications for the fall debates: former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and businessman Andrew Yang.