Julian Castro campaigns in Dallas, faces uphill fundraising challenge

Presidential candidate Julian Castro was in Dallas on Tuesday fundraising and campaigning.

The former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary is lagging in the polls and coffers even after trying to get a jump on the now-crowded field of Democrats.

Castro talked to supporters at a campaign stop in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas. He was the first to announce his run for the Democratic nomination, but his campaign is off to a lackluster start.

“I haven't been a frontrunner at any point in my life. There’s a lot of people out there who don't feel like they’re a frontrunner in life,” the presidential hopeful said. “I’m going to talk to them, and I’m confident when the voting starts in February in 2020 that I am going to do very well.”

According to a new Morning Consult poll out Tuesday, former vice president Joe Biden would lead in the Democratic primaries in early voting states, should he decide to run for president.

Castro ranks ninth with just one percent and is trailing far behind another Texan running for the Democratic nomination: former congressman Beto O'Rourke.

The El Paso native raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after entering the race. Castro's campaign says he raised just over 200,00 before announcing in December. But his campaign would not comment on the total raised in the first 24 hours after announcing, a benchmark many other candidates are playing up.

“Right now, we’re building a strong foundation for this campaign and gaining support in terms of fundraising and in terms of endorsements,” Castro said.

SMU Political Communications Professor Stephanie Martin cautions folks from counting out Castro's

ability to rise to the top.

“What you’re seeing right now are people responding to name recognition who they know, and Julian Castro has less name recognition then Beto,” she said. “In terms of resume, Julian Castro wins hands down.”

Martin says Castro will have to perform well in the debates and continue shaking hands with voters, no matter how small the venue.

Castro says that as word of his campaign is growing, so is his campaign database. The hope is that translates into more donations and support from potential voters.