Julián Castro is running for president in 2020. Here’s everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.

Julián Castro.

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Julián Castro.
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Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images

Who is Julián Castro?

Current job: Running for president of the United States as a Democratic candidate.

Age: 44

Family: Castro is married to Erica Lira, a former school teacher. Together they have a son and a daughter.

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas.

Political party: Democratic

Previous jobs: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017; Mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014.

Who is Julián Castro’s direct competition for the nomination?

Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Julian Castro’s lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.

  • Those who would be satisfied with Castro as nominee were also satisfied with Sen. Kamala Harris as nominee in 73% of cases. That’s not only huge, it’s also 17 percentage points higher than Harris’ performance among all Democratic voters, meaning that Castro’s constituency finds his more popular rival from California seriously appealing.

Julian Castro

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  • Former Vice President Joe Biden, a frontrunner in general, also does well among those who’d be satisfied with Castro, but not to a particularly unexpected extent.
  • Sen. Cory Booker and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke seriously outperform their general satisfaction rate among Castro fans. All told, 66 percent of those who’d be satisfied with Castro would also be satisfied with Booker, and 65 percent would be satisfied with O’Rourke. That’s 22 percentage points and 14 percentage points, respectively, above their performance among all Democratic respondents.

INSIDER has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate’s constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.

Read more about how we’re polling this here.

What are Julián Castro’s policy positions?

  • On healthcare:
    • Castro is an ardent supporter of the “Medicare for all” proposal.
    • “I believe that we need Medicare for all,” Castro told MSNBC in December. “I believe that we need to recoup the millions of people that have already losts.”
    • Castro has also described overhauling the US healthcare system as his number one priority if he were to become president.
  • On immigration:
    • Castro’s campaign website touts his immigrant roots and values passed down from his grandmother, who came to the US from Mexico.
    • He has proposed attaching ankle monitors to undocumented immigrants as opposed to detaining them en masse, as well as emboldening immigrants seeking asylum in the United States.
    • Castro opposes expansions of border walls by President Trump and supports a pathway to citizenship.
    • He has not called for abolishing ICE, but said it needs to be “reconstituted,” according to an interview.
  • On climate change:
    • Castro wants the US to rejoin the agreement to lower global carbon emissions as part of the Paris Climate Accords.
    • As mayor of San Antonio, Castro directed the city’s energy utility to have 20% renewable energy 2020, which also coincides with the shut down of a coal plant.
  • On abortion:
    • Castro has said abortion should be legal, including in cases after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • On LGBTQ rights:
    • Castro supports marriage equality.
    • He believes transgender Americans should be allowed to serve in the US armed forces.
    • While heading the Department of House and Urban Development, Castro expanded fair housing rights to transgender Americans.
  • On education:
    • Castro’s campaign released an education plan that includes universal pre-K.
    • The proposal would also train and educate pre-K teachers.
    • A $150 billion investment in modernization for high schools.
    • Ensure high school graduates finish with a minimum of one college credit.
    • Establish more trade school programs.
    • Eliminate tuition at public universities, colleges, and vocational schools.
    • Reimagining how students loans are financed for existing debts.
    • Expanding Pell Grants.
    • Federal tax credit for teachers.
  • On guns:
  • On criminal justice reform:
    • While HUD secretary, Castro issued guidance to boost fair housing rights, which applied to individuals with arrest records and freed prison inmates.
    • “Black and Latino Americans are unfairly arrested at significantly higher rates than white Americans,” Castro wrote in 2016 Medium post. “So when landlords summarily refuse to rent to anyone who has an arrest record, they may effectively and disproportionately bar the door to millions of folks of color for no good reason at all. It is wrong  -  and it has to end.”
  • On trade:
  • On foreign policy:
    • Castro agreed with the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw US military personnel from Syria, but added that it should be done in a more methodical way than the administration proposed.
    • “I’m not a big fan of the commitments America has made, over these last 15 years, whether it was the Iraq War or this commitment,” Castro said in an interview NBC News. “However, I do believe, and I agree with folks that say, that both for our own sake, for the sake of our troops, for the sake of our allies, once you’re there, you have to actually have a solid plan for how you’re going to withdraw.”
  • On taxes:
    • Castro supports increases taxes on the ultra-wealthy, like proposals to place a marginal tax rate of 70% on income over $10 million.
    • He has also said he wants to find ways of “making sure that the corporations pay their fair share,” but not elaborated further on a concrete plan.

What are Julián Castro’s political successes?

  • As mayor of San Antonio, Castro directed the city’s public utility to commit to 20% renewable energy by 2020.
  • During his tenure at the HUD Department, Castro launched ConnectHome, which boosted broadband and electronics to children homes across the United States.
  • He expanded fair housing rights to minority groups while at HUD.

How much money has Julián Castro raised?

In the first quarter of 2019, Castro raised $1.1 million from more than 50,000 contributions, bringing the total he has raised since announcing his bid last year to $2.2 million. Castro’s campaign said the average donation was $32. Castro has received donations from at least 65,000 donors as well, giving him another qualification for the Democratic primary debates.

Could Julián Castro beat President Trump?

Referring back to INSIDER’s recurring poll, Julian Castro overall is believed to be a fairly weak candidate in a general election against Donald Trump compared to the whole field. Based on responses from Democratic primary voters, for a typical candidate surveyed 36% of respondents think they’d win, 9% think they’d lose, and 55% are unsure. Among Democrats, Castro’s profile is lower and more obscure than he’d likely want to be at this early stage: 16% think he’d win, 13% think he’d lose, and 71% are unsure.

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