The GOP presidential debate for the 2024 race is just around the corner, and the lineup of candidates is still uncertain.
Where Is the Next GOP Presidential Debate?
Vanity Fair News reported that the recent polling and fundraising numbers present a mixed bag of news for those aiming to challenge former President Donald Trump in Milwaukee. Former Vice President Mike Pence, despite polling in a respectable fourth place in the first approved poll by the Republican National Committee (RNC), posted disappointing fundraising numbers that raise doubts about his qualification for the GOP Presidential debate.
According to a Morning Consult poll, eight candidates have met the RNC’s 1% threshold, including outspoken Trump critics like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (3%) and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (1%). Their presence in the GOP Presidential debate would likely influence its tone significantly. Only Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reached double-digit figures, with the former president at 57% and the latter at 17%. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy (8%), Pence (7%), former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley (3%), and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott (3%) rounded out the qualifying candidates.
However, some candidates failed to meet the 1% threshold in the Morning Consult poll, including North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and former Texas GOP Representative Will Hurd.
According to CNN, to qualify for the GOP Presidential debate, candidates must have over 40,000 unique donors with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, in addition to polling over 1% in three qualifying national polls or two national and one early nominating state poll by August 21.
Meeting the fundraising standard has proven challenging for some candidates. Hutchinson recently stated that he had around 5,000 individual donors but expressed confidence in reaching the threshold. Pence also acknowledged the need to meet the donor requirement and expressed optimism about reaching it. However, reports indicate that Pence has raised a meager $1.2 million for his campaign.
GOP Presidential Debate, Candidates Approach!
Other candidates have taken unconventional approaches to boost their fundraising for GOP Presidential debate. Burgum implemented a controversial scheme of offering $20 gift cards for $1 donations, while a Suarez Super PAC is offering small donors a chance to win a year of college tuition. Despite these efforts, both candidates are still below the 40,000 donor mark.
Amidst all the uncertainty, one major question looms over the GOP Presidential debate: Will former President Trump, who currently faces two federal indictments, even participate? According to Trump campaign advisor Jason Miller, it seems unlikely as he sees little sense in debating with candidates polling at low percentages.
As the GOP Presidential debate approaches, candidates are racing against polling and donor thresholds to secure their spot on the stage and have the opportunity to present their visions for the future of the GOP.