The Republican National Committee has reportedly raised the threshold for qualification for the second presidential debate.
The September debate is scheduled to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. Republicans hoping to secure the party’s presidential nomination in 2024 will need to secure 3% in two national polls or 3% in one national poll and two polls from either Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada – the early voting states.
Additionally, the candidates must have at least 50,000 individual donors, according to the Associated Press who spoke to an anonymous source. The donors must come from at least 20 different states or territories.
Politico predicted the “potentially winnowing down” of the pool of candidates because of the raised qualifications and noted that a media partner for the second debate has not yet been announced.
To qualify for the first presidential debate in August, a candidate must have received 40,000 individual donations of any among and be polling at 1% in either three national polls or one national poll and two early-voting state polls. The candidates are also required to sign a loyalty pledge, agreeing to support whomever ultimately becomes the party’s nominee.
According to KCCI, seven candidates have qualified for the first debate. This includes North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, pharmaceutical entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former President Donald Trump.
Radio host Larry Elder, former Texas congressman Will Hurd, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and former Vice President Mike Pence have not yet met the threshold for qualification.
Trump, the party’s front-runner, is not expected to participate in the August debate.
“Let them debate so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!” he wrote in a post on Truth Social on July 31.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniels said in July that it would be a “mistake” for Trump to skip the event, which will be hosted by Fox News. She cited the predicted 20 million viewership and the chance to “get in front of the whole primary voters” during an interview with Fox.
Trump, however, has repeatedly said that the debates do not benefit his reelection campaign.
“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,” he said during an interview on July 16, per The New York Times. “It’s actually not fair. Why would you let somebody that’s at zero or one or two or three [%] be popping you with questions?”
In an April Truth Social post, Trump wrote, “When you’re leading by seemingly insurmountable numbers, and you have hostile Networks with angry, TRUMP & MAGA hating anchors asking the ‘questions,’ why subject yourself to being libeled and abused?”