Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced Monday that his Democratic presidential campaign will come to an abrupt end if he fails to raise $800,000 within the next 10 days.
In an email to supporters, Castro warned that he “is in dire need of financial resources to keep going,” noting that without a major influx in donations, he will not be able to qualify for the next debate.
“We are hopeful that we can reach our fundraising goal, which will help us fund operations needed to secure the necessary polling,” a campaign spokesperson told HuffPost. “However, we do not see a viable path to victory if he does not secure a spot at the November debate.”
Castro also delivered the news in a tweet, saying “this is a critical moment” and that his campaign risks being “silenced for good.”
I’m extremely proud of the historic and bold campaign we have built together. But this is a critical moment— if my campaign can’t raise $800,000 by October 31st, my campaign will be silenced for good. Help us keep up the fight. DONATE now: https://t.co/CZKqZ7uYHM pic.twitter.com/opXiNoDn3I
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) October 21, 2019
In a statement provided to HuffPost, campaign manager Maya Rupert said the team is up against its “biggest challenge yet” and will not make the November debate “without a significant uptick in our fundraising.”
While the candidate has received the 165,000 contributions required, he still must rise to at least 3% in four national polls to enter the debate. It would be a herculean feat for Castro, who is polling at less than 1%.
The campaign believes that only through a funding boost will it be able to finance its efforts in battleground states and gain momentum in the polls.
In its most recent FEC filing, the campaign reported $672,333 in cash on hand as of the end of last month, a meager sum compared to the field’s frontrunners.
During the same period, Former Vice President Joe Biden reported nearly $9 million in cash on hand, while Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reported $33.7 million and $25.7 million, respectively.
Even South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is polling in the single digits, had $23.4 million on hand, per his filing.
In September, Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) campaign manager, Addisu Demissie, delivered a call to action similar to that of Castro, asking supporters in a lengthy Medium post to give $1.7 million within 10 days to keep the senator’s presidential bid above water. For Booker, the strategy worked, and the campaign met its goal.
However, in Castro’s message to donors, he emphasized that his last-ditch appeal “isn’t a fundraising gimmick.”
“It’s the transparency and honesty I have promised you since I entered this race,” he added. “The truth is, for our campaign, these debates have offered our only guaranteed opportunity to share my vision with the American people. If I can’t make the next debate stage, we cannot sustain a campaign that can make it to Iowa in February.”
So far, only eight of the 19 Democrats vying for the White House have earned a spot in the November debate.