Julian Castro’s almost nonexistent support has been drying up for some time now, so it’s not surprising that he is leaving the race. It’s also not surprising that he is endorsing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bid for the presidency.
As it turns out, lots of people who worked for former President Barack Obama seem to like Warren. The only question is, will Castro’s endorsement make a difference in a race that Sen. Warren is rapidly losing, or will it only provide her campaign with a bit of a reprieve as it stumbles into the upcoming caucuses and primaries?
At present, Sen. Warren is polling in third place, lagging rivals former Vice-President Joe Biden and fellow Senator Bernie Sanders. Her fundraising has taken a dip as well. The senator raised just over $21 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The fact that she has walked back her support for immediately implementing Medicare for All, coupled by the fact that she has clearly been dishonest about how much it would cost in the first place, has led to voters looking at other candidates to support. As the primary season fast approaches, Sen. Warren is more than happy to tout Castro’s endorsement of her campaign. She may even have her former rival come to New York to campaign with her.
Julian Castro may not have made much of an impression during the primaries, but he did become known as a strong advocate for reparations for the descendants of former slaves, housing equality, and border decriminalization. He didn’t enjoy the same level of stardom as Biden, Sanders, or even Warren — but his endorsement could make an impact considering there are still so many Democrats bidding for the nomination.
At the same time, many of Castro’s few supporters would likely turn to Sen. Warren anyway. Warren and Castro shared many of the same political goals, and the Massachusetts Senator would be a natural second choice for progressive voters who put a premium on things like race and reparations.
Despite all of this, Castro’s support won’t do Warren’s campaign much good in most of the first states holding caucuses and primaries next month. Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina don’t have large Hispanic populations, and a candidate’s performance in these early voting states will almost certainly make or break campaigns.
It’s also worth noting that, in spite of the fact that some journalists are eager to portray Castro as an obvious vice presidential pick, not all Hispanic voters are inspired by his ideas and policy positions. In fact, the chairman of the Hispanic Caucus’ political arm recently endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, effectively snubbing Warren as well as the man who essentially ran on the fact that he is, in fact, Hispanic.
Castro’s departure from the presidential race was almost a certainty from the start. While pundits blame the fact that he lacked name recognition, the fact is that Castro’s campaign failed to excite the masses from the beginning.
Now that Castro has left the race and endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren, there are some who believe his vocal support for his former rival will turn her fortunes around. But with Bernie Sanders — the man who enjoys a cult-like following from people who don’t like to work — there is no space for a pretend progressive like Elizabeth Warren. An endorsement from a candidate people have already forgotten about won’t change that.