Entrepreneur and GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says he has met the needs of Republican Party donors and is confident he will be high enough to be on stage for the party’s first debate next month.
To qualify for the debate stage in Milwaukee on August 23, candidates must register at least 1% support in three national polls, or 1% in two national polls and two early state polls from specific states. The polls must be recognized by the Republican National Committee. It is not yet clear whether the party has enough pollsters to identify with, but Ramaswamy has consistently enjoyed mid-single-digit to low-double-digit support in recent surveys.
The RNC also requires that “a minimum of 40,000 unique donors to the candidate’s primary presidential campaign committee (or exploratory committee), with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories in 20+ states and/or territories” qualify.
Candidates must also sign a pledge of allegiance agreeing to support the party’s eventual nominee in the general election.
Ramaswamy reached 65,000 unique donors, 40% of whom were reportedly “first-time donors to the Republican Party or any political party,” according to a senior adviser to his campaign.
The entrepreneur had an unusual tactic to attract donors, launching an effort to give 10% of what they take in from other donors to crowdfunders who collect money for his campaign.
After launching his presidential bid in late February, Ramaswamy swept early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire and rose to third place in several national polls. poll. most recent polling shows Ramaswamy at 13% among likely Republican presidential primary voters.
most recent survey from Kaplan Strategies shows tied for second place with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 12%. Former President Donald Trump was leading by a large margin in early voting.
Ramaswamy is the sixth candidate to reach the donor threshold for the first debate, which will be hosted by Fox News.
DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also attracted enough support from donors to reach the debate stage.
Also, Trump met the fundraising criteria to participate but has signaled that he plans to stop the debate.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Trump said, “When you have a big leadership, you don’t do it.”
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News earlier this week that it would be a “mistake” for Trump to lose the debates. She said she is urging him to approach his rivals on stage.
“You want to win the nomination, you have to be in front of those primary voters,” she said.