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Who won the Democratic debate second round was issues; health care took the lead, and race got lots of time, but some viral moments did well too. USA TODAY

An new CNN poll gives Julián Castro 2 percent of the Democratic vote, which coupled with fundraising thresholds means he's the 10th candidate to qualify for the next round.

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AUSTIN —  Former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro reached the all-important 2 percent threshold in the CNN poll released Tuesday of Democratic presidential contenders, meaning he qualifies for the debate next month in Houston.

Castro will join fellow Texans Beto O'Rourke and eight others for the third Democratic debate. He is the 10th candidate to meet both the polling and fundraising targets needed to join the field.

If more than 10 candidates qualify, the debate sponsored by ABC News will be held over two nights, which was the case for the first two events of the 2020 cycle. 

The CNN poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading the crowded Democratic field, gaining the support of 29 percent of the respondents. That's up from 22 percent the CNN poll released at the end of June.

Biden is trailed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 15 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 14 percent.

O'Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso, was preferred by 3 percent of the respondents. He remains behind California Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who drew 5 percent.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and businessman Andrew Yang have also locked in spots on the Houston debate stage.

Castro, who served as secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration, is credited with performing well in the first two debates, but he has yet to transfer the high marks to widespread support in the polls.

O'Rourke recently returned to the campaign trail after putting his candidacy on pause during the immediate aftermath of the Aug. 3 mass shooting that left 22 dead in his hometown of El Paso.

The Houston debates are scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13.

John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at jmoritz@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.

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