The race for the White House is heating up. This shake up changes everything.
Because two major Republicans have been kicked out of the Presidential race.
In order to qualify for the third presidential debate, the Republican National Committee plans to increase the fundraising and polling standards for primary contenders.
According to Fox News, each contender needs at least 70,000 individual donations to their campaign or their personal committee, with at least 200 donors in 20 or more states. Two nationwide polls, or one national poll and two statewide polls, must show that the candidate has garnered at least 4% of the vote.
Statewide polls must be held in one of the first four states holding Republican presidential primaries: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina.
During a Thursday conference call, the RNC debate committee made the decision to increase the cutoffs.
Candidates, as in the previous two debates, are required to sign a pledge indicating their willingness to support the Republican nominee for president. For the 2024 election cycle, they are also barred from taking part in any debates that are not hosted by the RNC.
Each debate’s entry requirements have increasingly increased. Candidates have to have at least 1% support in polls and 40,000 individual contributions to participate in the first Fox News debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On August 23rd, eight contenders participated in the first debate.
Achieving 3% in the polls and 50,000 donations is a must for the second presidential debate. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California will host the debate.
Six candidates, according to a Fox News analysis, are qualified to participate in the third RNC debate: former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. The candidates are scheduled to meet for a second debate on September 27.
Neither Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) nor ex-Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), who both made it into the first debate, have met the requirements for the second round of face-offs.
Trump has met the RNC’s contributor and polling requirements, but he has not signed the commitment. He skipped the first debate and now he’s skipping the second one in California.
This move will effectively knock out anyone who is unable to appear on the stage for the second and third Republican Presidential debates.
So, unless by an act of God himself, Burgum and Hutchinson are simply not sniffing the White House in 2024.
What will be interesting is what happens after Burgum and Hutchinson drop out of the race. Where will their support go to in the remaining field?
As noted, the third debate will require candidates to get to a regular 4% of polling in national and statewide polls. That could be an issue for candidates like Tim Scott and Chris Christie.
The only candidates who are known to have reached the 70,000 individual donor requirement are former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
This tightening of debate stage requirements may very well be the domino to fall that leads to the real two or three contenders who have a shot at winning the Republican nomination.
Donald Trump may also decide to jump into the debates at some point when the stage is not as crowded as it currently is.
Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.