Low Donation Numbers Raise Questions About Future of Castro Campaign

Is former Mayor Julian Castro's long shot Presidential campaign fading?

Castro was able to raise barely one million dollars during the first three months of the year. Compare that to fellow Texan Beto O'Rourke, who has raised $18 million, or candidates like Bernie Sanders, who have raised $5 million in a single day.

Political Analyst Cal Jillson of Southern Methodist University in Dallas says Castro's campaign is facing crunch time.

"You can't run too far back at this point, otherwise people forget about you," Jillson said. "Your fundraising lags and you are an also ran."

Castro has been unable to generate traction in his race, despite weeks of retail campaigning in Iowa, which holds the season's first Presidential caucus in January.

"Because the field is so large and there are six or eight or ten people who are raising enough money to continue a presidential campaign," Jillson said. "If he is not in that group, it is unlikely that he will be able to climb into it."

In Iowa, Castro said his vision will captivate voters, and donors.

"I believe that we need new leadership with a new vision for our future," Castro said. "That destiny, for our country, in the years to come, is to be the smartest, the fairest, the healthiest, and the most prosperous nation on earth."

Analysts also warn that taking what are seen as 'fringe' left wing positions, like supporting reparations for slavery, will damage Castro, because those left wing positions are already dominated by other, better funded, candidates.

But they also point to the example of Pete Buttageig, who emerged from the pack, largely due to the success of one TV interview, and is now raising a lot of money and has been in the top three among Democratic voters in some polls. They say that shows that in this fluid race, lighting can strike and can propel a second-tier candidate into the top tier.

Jillson says Castro has one advantage going into the June debates, which is a place where Castro, with his low key, cerebral campaign style, could make a real surge. A ticket to the debates is based not on how much money a candidate has raised, but on how many individual donors that candidate has, and Castro so far has shows a strong ability to connect with small donors. He says right now, it looks likely that Castro will be able to make it into the debate field.


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