Ramaswamy qualifies for RNC debate by reaching donor threshold

  • Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy says he has qualified for the first GOP debate
  • His team says he has over 650,000 unique donors
  • The first GOP debate is set for Aug. 23 and will be moderated by Fox News

Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at the opening of the Turning Point Action conference on July 15, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Former President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak at the event held in the Palm Beach County Convention Center. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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(NewsNation) — Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy is the latest candidate to hit the donor threshold needed to qualify for the first GOP debate, his campaign said Friday.

The criteria for qualifying for the first Republican National Committee debate on August 23 includes 40,000 donors, a minimum of 1% support on at least three national polls or 1% support in two national polls and one state poll from two “carve out” states recognized by the RNC: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina.

According to Ramaswamy’s campaign, he currently has over 65,000 unique donors.

The candidate also cites the July 9-12 and July 14-16 Morning Consult polls which have him in third place with 8% support. A July 17-18 Kaplan Strategies poll has him tied for second place with 12% of the vote and a recent Harvard/Harris poll has him in third place with 10% of the vote.

“The RNC’s debate stage criteria are stringent but fair,” said Ramaswamy in a press release. “I am a first-time candidate who started with very low name ID, no political donors, and no pre-existing fundraising lists. If an outsider can clear the bar, politically experienced candidates should be able to as well: if you can’t hit these metrics by late August, you have absolutely no chance of defeating Joe Biden in the general election.”

“Vivek’s momentum is undeniable – in national polls, unique donors, digital impressions, online search trends, volunteer growth, and crowd sizes,” said Ben Yoho, CEO of Vivek 2024. “He is well on track to win this election and looks forward to facing his competitors on the debate stage.”

By meeting the thresholds, Ramaswamy will join other challenges including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, among others on the debate stage. Though former President Donald Trump is the clear current frontrunner for the job, he has so far said he will sit out the first debate, which RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said would be “a mistake.”

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