CAMPAIGN 2024: A fourth Republican presidential debate is scheduled in Tuscaloosa, with stricter voting requirements that could make the stage less crowded than before.
In a memo sent to campaigns Friday and obtained by The Associated Press, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the fourth debate would be held on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Tuscaloosa.
To get on the stage, candidates must get at least 6% in two approved national polls or 6% in a poll in two different early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
According to the memo, first reported by The New York Times, participants must also bring together at least 80,000 individual donors, including at least 200 individual donors per state or territory, in 20 or more states.
Candidates have until 48 hours before the debate to complete the requirements.
The RNC has increased the required markers with each debate, an effort aimed at winnowing down the once expansive field. It was difficult for some candidates to meet some qualifications, including former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who participated in the first debate but did not meet subsequent qualifications. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who appeared on stage in the first two debates, paused his campaign last week after it appeared likely he would not qualify for the third debate.
The third GOP debate, taking place Wednesday in Miami, requires the campaigns to reach 4% in polls and attract 70,000 unique donors.
Although the party won’t confirm who will take the stage at the third event until Monday, it’s expected to include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, the South Carolina Senator and Tim Scott, the former governor of South Carolina, will attend. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will attend.
As with the first two debates, former President Donald Trump – the current GOP front-runner – is skipping next week’s convention and countering instead with a rally in Hialeah, Florida, about a half-hour drive from the debate site. Trump’s campaign called for the primary debates to be canceled and said last month that the RNC instead needed to “refocus its workforce” to defeat Democrat Joe Biden next year.
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