Castro isn’t the only other candidate who’s close to making the third debate. There are three others who stand a reasonable chance of qualifying. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has already surpassed the 130,000 contributor mark, but she has just one qualifying poll to Castro’s three, so it will be tougher for her to get three more polls by Aug. 28. Not that this has stopped Gabbard from trying: In an email to supporters, she encouraged them to sign up for online survey panels and to answer calls from unknown numbers that might be a pollster dialing.
Meanwhile, despite jumping into the race only in early July, billionaire activist Tom Steyer may be in an even better position than Gabbard, having already hit at least 2 percent in three of the four qualifying polls he needs. Now it’s just a matter of hitting 2 percent in one more poll and clearing the donor requirement, which his campaign said in an email to supporters last week that it could do “as soon as” this week. It doesn’t hurt that Steyer has a huge organizing advantage — he can draw on the more than 8 million email addresses amassed by Need to Impeach, an anti-Trump group Steyer founded, not to mention additional contacts from NextGen, another Steyer organization.