Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has unveiled the details for the first Republican presidential primary debate, set to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23.
McDaniel also disclosed the criteria that candidates must meet in order to qualify for the debate. The qualifications are divided into four categories: candidate status, polling, fundraising, and candidate pledging, according to an RNC press release on June 2.
If the number of qualifying candidates necessitates, a second debate will be held on Aug. 24.
“I am excited to announce the criteria for our first presidential primary debate in Milwaukee on August 23,” McDaniel said.
“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.”
Previously, former President Donald Trump suggested that he might skip out on GOP primary debates during the 2024 presidential cycle.
In a late April post on Truth Social, Trump said that the RNC never talked to him or his campaign about the rules and arrangements for debates, indicating his hesitance to participate.
“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,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Under candidate status, the requirements include being eligible to run by meeting the criteria of being a natural-born U.S. citizen, residing in the country for at least 14 years, and being 35 years of age or older.
Furthermore, candidates must have officially declared their candidacy and filed an active Statement of Candidacy and Statement of Organization with the Federal Election Commission and identify themselves as Republican nominees.
Regarding polling, candidates must meet specific thresholds. They must poll at least 1 percent in three national polls or 1 percent in two national polls and 1 percent in one early state poll from two separate “carve out” states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina) recognized by the RNC.
These polls must survey a minimum of 800 registered likely Republican voters, utilizing a mix of live calls, integrated voice response, online panels, and/or text messages, along with other polling requirements.
In terms of fundraising, candidates must demonstrate a minimum of 40,000 unique donors to their principal presidential campaign committee or exploratory committee.
These donors must include at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20 or more states and/or territories. Candidates must provide evidence of meeting this fundraising threshold to the RNC no later than 48 hours before the first scheduled debate.
Among other qualifications, the candidates must also fulfill certain pledges, including signing an agreement not to participate in any non-RNC sanctioned debate for the remainder of the election cycle and pledging support to the eventual party nominee.
Qualified candidates will be positioned on stage based on their polling standings, with the highest polling candidate occupying the center position.
The announcement sets the stage for the first Republican presidential primary debate, providing candidates with clear guidelines to qualify and engage in a robust discussion on the critical issues facing the nation.
An RNC source familiar with the process of scheduling the GOP’s 2024 debates told The Epoch Times that the RNC’s debate committee “has been communicating with all candidates and campaigns,” including Trump and his team, about prospective debate schedules, protocols, and formats.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’s request for confirmation about whether the former president would participate in the event.
John Haughey contributed to this report.