Eight Republicans have qualified for the party’s first 2024 presidential primary debate Wednesday night, the Republican National Committee announced Monday evening.
The list includes North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.
Former President Donald Trump – the clear front-runner in national and early state polls – has said he would skip the debate in Milwaukee and called on his rivals to drop out.
To make the first debate stage, the RNC required candidates to draw at least 40,000 individual donors and register at least 1% support in three national polls or in two national and two early state polls that met the RNC’s criteria. The candidates were also required to sign a pledge to back the eventual winner of the GOP primary, no matter who it is. It’s not clear whether Trump, like those who will be onstage Wednesday, has signed that pledge.
“The RNC is excited to showcase our diverse candidate field and the conservative vision to beat Joe Biden on the debate stage Wednesday night,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said in Monday night’s statement.
This story has been updated with additional information.