Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Doug Burgum and Chris Christie have all qualified to take place in the first Republican debate so far. In the last few hours, Mike Pence's name has been added to this list, expanding the number of lecterns to eight for August 23, when Milwaukee will host the GOP presidential candidates.
The former vice president had only one requirement left that he needed to qualify: collecting 40,000 unique contributors nationwide, which he accomplished this Monday. The much-anticipated face-off with his former boss, who still has not confirmed his attendance despite being qualified, can now occur.
"Pence’s team emphasized that they met the donor threshold without any giveaways or gimmicks. The team also noted that they brought in less than half of their donors through digital outreach and said that events with the candidate and direct mail continue to be strengths for their campaign," Fox News reported.
Pence announces he’s reached donor threshold to qualify for first Republican presidential debate | Fox News https://t.co/vTdXclZG2A
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) August 8, 2023
The former Indiana governor is fourth in national polls, as Ramaswamy recently surpassed him. He is focusing his campaign on states that will go to the polls first, such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Pence was the big beneficiary of the latest Trump indictment since it brought an outpouring of donations to his campaign, which ultimately earned him the right to participate in the debate. In the days following the Justice Department's announcement of Trump's latest indictment, 7,400 people joined Pence's donor list.
Requirements to qualify for the first Republican debate
To qualify to participate in the debate, candidates must pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, something Trump has yet to take a liking to. In addition, they must collect donations from at least 40,000 national contributors, consistently get more than 1% in three national polls or two national polls and one state, while also having "at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in more than 20 states and/or territories." Finally, they may not participate in any external debates.
The deadline to comply with the requirements will be August 21, just 48 hours before the debate. As for which polls will be valid, only those after June 1 will be counted.