Kamala Harris' Withdrawal From The Presidential Race Could Help Julián Castro | Texas Public Radio

Kamala Harris' Withdrawal From The Presidential Race Could Help Julián Castro

Dec 4, 2019
Originally published on December 4, 2019 5:36 pm

From Texas Standard:

The last Texan in the presidential race, Julián Castro, lamented Tuesday about the dwindling number of  candidates of color vying for the Democratic nomination. Kamala Harris had just suspended her bid, and Castro chastised the media for contributing to candidates of color leaving the race.

Ironically, the comment seemed to motivate donors to support Castro's flagging campaign, leading to a better-than-normal day of fundraising for the former San Antonio mayor.  

Sonia Garcia, a professor of political science at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, says Castro criticized the media for applying different standards to Harris, an African American woman, and other candidates. She says the media criticized Harris for not having a clear message and for flip-flopping. Garcia says she doesn't believe those narratives are accurate.

"It's no surprise that women, especially women of color, are treated [with] a different standard – unlike men, unlike white women," Garcia says. "So there's this extra scrutiny placed on women of color."

Garcia says Harris enjoyed acclaim and high poll numbers for a time after the first Democratic debate. But later, she says the media started using a double standard to evaluate her performance. She says Castro, who is Latino, also experienced something of a double standard when it came to media coverage.

Garcia says the departure of candidates of color means there are fewer candidates who represent voters of color. But, she expects Castro, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, to benefit from Harris' withdrawal. 

Written by Shelly Brisbin.

Copyright 2019 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.