Castro qualifies for Houston presidential debate

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And then there were ten.

Thanks to a new CNN poll showing him attaining the 2% support required in four approved polls, Julian Castro became the 10th candidate to qualify for the next round of debates held in Houston on September 12 and 13. 

The threshold for qualifying for the fall debates required candidates to reach 130,000 individual donors from across the country and to reach at least 2% support in four qualifying polls.

“With two standout debate performances, Secretary Castro has been building momentum for his candidacy,” said campaign manager Maya Rupert. “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.”

Castro pulled out all the stops to secure his spot on the debate stage, going so far as to air TV ads over the last week excoriating Donald Trump. The strategy seems to have delivered the intended result for the former San Antonio mayor.

Castro will join fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke, who qualified a few weeks ago, and former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

The only candidates who seem close to qualifying are Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who has blanketed early states with millions of dollars of paid advertising in his quest to make the stage.

Candidates have just 8 days left to qualify, with the deadline for the September debates set for August 28th. If 10 or fewer candidates qualify, the debates will be — thankfully — consolidated into one night. 

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