RNC Releases Requirements for First Presidential Debate in Milwaukee

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

In April, the RNC announced that the first GOP presidential primary debate for the 2024 election will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in August. As we noted at the time, in a nod to alternative media, for the first time ever, the debate will also be live-streamed on Rumble.


Now, the RNC has released its requirements for that first debate.

In addition to meeting the standard candidate qualification legal requirements, participants must meet the following:

  1. Candidates must poll at one percent (at least) in three national polls or two national and one early state polls. (Further stipulations regarding the polls include a minimum of 800 likely Republican voters surveyed and that the polls not be conducted by a polling company affiliated with a candidate or candidate committee.
  2. Candidates must have a minimum of 40,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20-plus states and/or territories.
  3. Candidates must sign a pledge agreeing not to participate in any non-RNC-sanctioned debate for the remainder of the election cycle, a pledge agreeing to support the eventual party nominee, and the RNC data-sharing agreement.

While the first two requirements will necessarily weed out lower-tier/lesser-known candidates, the third one will be the true test of former President Donald Trump, the current — and formidable — frontrunner, as there has been no shortage of speculation as to whether he might consider going third-party if, for some reason, he were not to secure the nomination. Of course, if that were to happen, the former president likely would not be overly concerned about such a pledge — nor, one suspects, would most of his core supporters.


In addition to setting forth the requirements for candidate participation, the announcement also specified that the first debate will be held on August 23, 2023, and, if there are enough candidates who qualify to necessitate it, a second will be held on August 24, 2023.

Further, per the announcement, “Qualified candidates will be placed on the stage according to polling, with the highest polling candidate in the center.”

These are the thresholds for the first debate only. Future debates may include higher polling and fundraising thresholds.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos