Eight candidates have qualified for the first Republican presidential primary debate

The first Republican presidential primary debate is next week, with candidates scheduled to appear in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 23, 2023.

As of August 16, eight candidates had met the polling and fundraising thresholds necessary to qualify for the debate stage. Those candidates were:

  • North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum
  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
  • Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence
  • Entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy
  • South Carolina U.S. Senator Tim Scott
  • Former U.S. President Donald Trump

The polling and fundraising requirements specifically required that candidates receive at least 1 percent support in three national polls, or one percent support in two national and one early primary state poll, and receive 40,000 contributions from unique campaign donors, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states or territories.

Candidates are also required to sign several pledges with the Republican National Committee, including an agreement to not participate in any debates not sponsored by the RNC, to share data with the organization, and to support the eventual party nominee.

Burgum, DeSantis, Haley, Ramaswamy, and Scott have all signed the necessary pledges according to media reports and the campaigns themselves. Both Pence and Christie have said they are willing to sign the pledge. In an August 10 interview with Newsmax, Trump said he did not intend to sign the loyalty pledge.

Trump has also implied he may not attend the first Republican debate, but there has not been an official announcement from his campaign regarding his attendance.

The debate will take place at Fiserv Forum, with Fox News, Young America’s Foundation, and Rumble set to sponsor the debate. The moderators will be Fox’s Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

We’ll be covering the debate. Watch this page for in-depth summaries of where each candidate stands on the issues.