Seven Republican candidates have met the polling requirements to appear in the first presidential debate of the 2024 election season, according to new polling from Fox Business.
Former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have each reached 1% or higher in at least two qualifying national polls in addition to two qualifying state polls from separate states.
In addition to those requirements, candidates must also have a minimum of 40,000 unique donors to their campaign, with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20 states and territories, to make it to the debate stage in Minneapolis, according to the Republican National Committee.
CNN reported that several candidates or their aides said they have already met that donor threshold, including Trump, DeSantis, Scott, Haley, Christie, Ramaswamy and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Candidates must also agree to sign a pledge to support the eventual GOP party nominee.
The first Republican presidential debate is set for Aug. 23 and will be hosted by Fox News. Anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will co-moderate the debate which is set for Aug. 23 and will originate from the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.
While Trump has qualified with a commanding lead in the polls — a Harvard/Harris poll taken last week has Trump up by 40 points over his nearest rival, DeSantis — it is unclear if the former president will be taking the stage. In the past few weeks, Trump has said that he sees no upside to debating when he is so far ahead in polling.
“Ronald Reagan didn’t do it, and a lot of other people didn’t do it. When you have a big lead, you don’t do it,” the former president said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” last weekend.
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said she hopes Trump will be in Milwaukee for the debate.
“I think it’s a mistake not to do the debates, but that’s going to be up to him and his campaign,” McDaniel told Fox News on Wednesday.
McDaniel told Politico that she had reached out to Trump’s campaign about participating in the debate.
“You want to win the nomination, you got to get in front of those primary voters. But for me, it’s another part of it … this is an audience of 20 million people, plus,” she said. “Leaving that opportunity aside and not getting on the debate stage is just more of an opportunity for Joe Biden to continue to get his message out.”
Trump’s former running mate, Pence, is the only candidate who has met the polling threshold but not the fundraising level yet.
“We’re making incredible progress toward that goal. We’re not there yet,” the former vice president told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” in an interview that aired Sunday. “We will make it. I will see you at that debate stage.”
Candidates have until 48 hours prior to the debate to meet the requirements.