Julian Castro Qualifies for 3rd Democratic Debate

Former San Antonio Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro (D-Texas) has just surpassed the threshold to qualify for the third round of the DNC-sanctioned debates for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, NBC reports.

Castro, the only Latino running for the Democratic nomination, had already surpassed the donor threshold and just needed to meet the polling criteria, which he finally did as a result of his performance in the latest CNN poll.

This means that 10 candidates have qualified for the third round of debates, which will be hosted by ABC in Houston, Texas. The other nine candidates are: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.), former Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (D-N.Y.).

To qualify for the first two debates, each candidate had to fulfill at least one of the two main criteria: The donor criteria of 65,000 individual donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state in 20 or more states, and the polling criteria of 1 percent or more in 3 or more national polls. This led to 20 candidates in the first two debates, each spread across two nights.

But for the third and fourth debates, the qualifications have doubled. Now candidates must have at least 130,000 donors with 400 unique donors per state in 20 or more states, and register at least 2 percent in 4 or more qualifying polls. And unlike the previous debates, where a candidate only had to fulfill one or the other, candidates must now meet both the donor and polling threshold in order to make it to the debate stage this time around.

While this stricter criteria has over half-a-dozen candidates likely to be shut out completely, a select few are still close to qualifying. Four candidates have reached the donor criteria but not the polling criteria: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Governor Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), author Marianne Williamson (D-Calif.), and billionaire Tom Steyer (D-Calif.).