The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday announced the details of the first Republican primary debate, set to be held August 23, 2023, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The first Republican debate will take place in less than three months on Wednesday, August 23, in Milwaukee. According to a press release detailing the event, a second debate will take place the following day if too many candidates qualify for this single debate.
There are four categories each presidential hopeful must make in order to qualify for the first debate. Naturally, they must be eligible to run for office, have declared their candidacy, filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and have the proper forms filled out with the FEC identifying them as a candidate and “designating the candidate’s principal campaign committee.”
Further, the qualifying candidate must have at least 40,000 unique donors to their presidential campaign committee, and that includes “at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories,” per the press release.
A GOP presidential hopeful must also meet stringent polling requirements, polling at least one percent in three national polls or polling at one percent in two national polls in addition to garnering one percent support in an early state poll. The poll must be deemed appropriate by the RNC. The RNC listed a few qualifications for polls which would qualify, explaining that the survey must examine at least 800 registered likely Republican voters through a variety of means — online panels to calls — and order the questions in a way that does not “allow potential bias.” Additionally, the survey cannot be affiliated with a campaign or the candidate’s committee and must be taken July 1 or later. Each candidate has up until the 48 hours preceding the debate to meet the polling requirements.
Lastly, each individual must sign pledges to the RNC, vowing to refrain from participating in “any non-RNC sanctioned debate” throughout the election season. They must also agree to ultimately support the party’s nominee, whomever that may be, as well as sign an “RNC data-sharing agreement.”
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement that the RNC is “committed to putting on a fair, neutral, and transparent primary process.” She expressed confidence that qualifying criteria “will put our party and eventual nominee in the best position to take back the White House come November 2024.”
The announcement comes well over a month after McDaniel named Fox News as the host of the first debate, which will also be available to watch on Rumble.
“We’re getting away from Big Tech, YouTube’s owned by Google. We’re going to have an RNC channel on Rumble. And then the Young Americas Foundation, which is run by Scott Walker, to really reach out to young voters. They’re based in Wisconsin, so they’re going to be a partner as well,” McDaniel said at the time.
There has been mounting speculation on Trump’s intentions, as it remains unclear if he will participate in the debate.
“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,” he wrote in an April Truth Social post.
“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?” he asked.
“Also, the Second Debate is being held at the Reagan Library, the Chairman of which is, amazingly, Fred Ryan, Publisher of The Washington Post. NO!” he exclaimed: