The Republican National Committee (RNC) just released the rules for the first Republican primary debate.
The committee in February announced that the debate will take place on Aug. 23, 2023, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which will also be the site of the 2024 Republican National Convention.
In April, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the RNC, provided some more information about the debate. McDaniel revealed that it will be televised exclusively on the Fox News Channel and that it will be live-streamed on Rumble.
Now, the RNC has announced the criteria that Republican presidential candidates must meet in order to participate in the debate.
First off, there are polling requirements.
The New York Post reports:
The RNC will require that all [debate] participants attain at least 1% in three national polls or 1% in two national polls and 1% in a state poll from one of four early nominating states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Polls must survey at least 800 registered likely Republican voters, not be conducted by a polling company affiliated with a candidate or candidate committee and meet other criteria in order to be considered valid.
Then, there are fundraising requirements.
The Post reports:
On the fundraising side, the RNC will require debaters to have a minimum of 40,000 unique donors to their principal presidential campaign committee or exploratory committee and at least 200 unique donors per state in 20 states or more.
In addition to the above requirements, a candidate must also be eligible to run for the presidency, have declared their presidential candidacy, and have filed the appropriate documentation with the FEC in order to participate in the debate.
On top of this, debate participants are going to have to sign a pledge to not participate in "any non-RNC sanctioned debate" during the election season and to support whomever it is that the Republican Party chooses to be its 2024 presidential nominee.
Along with these rules, McDaniel put out a statement, saying:
The RNC is committed to putting on a fair, neutral, and transparent primary process and the qualifying criteria set forth will put our party and eventual nominee in the best position to take back the White House come November 2024.
The Republican field is certainly growing, and it is possible that certain candidates will struggle to meet the criteria necessary to participate in the RNC debate.
Former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), former South Carolina governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) would all be expected to make the cut.
Another question, altogether, is whether all of these candidates - but particularly Trump - will choose to participate in the debate. Trump raised some doubt about his participation in April, saying:
I see that everybody is talking about the Republican Debates, but nobody got my approval, or the approval of the Trump Campaign, before announcing them.