1st Republican debate: Trump, Pence, DeSantis and more appear to qualify
The former president, however, has indicated he won't attend.
Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie and now Mike Pence all appear to have met the qualifications to attend the first GOP primary debate next month in Milwaukee, after having reached the polling thresholds set by the Republican National Committee and -- the candidates say -- the fundraising requirements, too.
The most recent of those hopefuls to say they've crossed the donor threshold, on Aug. 8, was former Vice President Pence.
The RNC announced criteria in June that the candidates must meet on polling, fundraising, status and pledging in order to earn a spot on stage on Aug. 23.
Candidates have until 48 hours before the debate to qualify, per the RNC.
The party has not yet publicly confirmed which candidates have qualified, though officials have said which polls are eligible to qualify candidates. Donor numbers so far are based on campaign statements alone.
Last month, a weekly Morning Consult poll of the 2024 GOP field -- which is confirmed to meet all of the standards to qualify candidates for the debate -- initially pushed six of the candidates, except Pence, across the finish line as each of them had received at least 1% in three national polls or 1% in two national polls and one early state poll from two separate "carve out" states recognized by the party: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina.
What remains uncertain is who all will participate in the debate, set to be aired by Fox News.
With about half of the major Republican candidates, including former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, still working to qualify, front-runner Trump has repeatedly signaled he will not attend his party's first debate given his lead in early polls. As he said on Newsmax: "If you're leading by a lot, what's the purpose of doing it?"
"Why would I want to debate as opposed to doing something else that night? Why would I want to debate when you have people at zero and 1% asking me hostile questions?" Trump said then.
The first survey that satisfied all the criteria for Republican presidential candidates to make the debate was a Morning Consult poll from July 11. Another Morning Consult poll from July 18 and an early state poll out of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) on July 18 were additional qualifying surveys, according to the RNC.
A few additional polls, including Fox Business surveys of Iowa and South Carolina voters published on Sunday, have been floated as potentially qualifying but have not been confirmed by the party.
Trump, DeSantis, Ramaswamy, Pence, Haley, Scott and Christie qualified for all three Morning Consult national polls and the UNH survey of New Hampshire Republicans.
Candidates must have met a minimum of 40,000 unique donors to meet the RNC's requirements, with at least 200 unique donors per state.
Scott's campaign previously said they had at least 75,000 donations from more than 53,000 unique donors across all 50 states.
Haley's campaign said last month they have "nearly 160,000 donations from all 50 states," adding, "We are well above the RNC threshold of 40,000 unique donations."
Christie has also said he's reached the donor threshold, telling CNN's Anderson Cooper earlier in July: "We went past 40,000 unique donors in just 35 days. There's a donor in every state in America, and we have over 200 donors in 36 states. So there's really broad support for the candidacy. We're really thrilled about it."
Ramaswamy said in July that he had met the Republican Party's donor requirements and polling thresholds.
"Most of our contributions externally have been small dollar contributions, 65,000-plus small dollars," Ramaswamy said to a group of reporters at Turning Point Action's conference. "Think about that -- 40,000 was for the RNC debate threshold in late August, which many candidates actually have complained was set too high. Even, you know, former vice presidents and congressmen and senators have had trouble reaching that."
Candidates like Hutchinson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and former Texas Rep. Will Hurd have been pushing -- sometimes through unusual quid-pro-quo strategies -- to garner enough support via individual donors in order to make the stage.
Burgum said in July that he had qualified for the debate stage, claiming to have met both the polling and donor qualifications.
His campaign cited one of the Morning Consult polls -- the first of the three published in which he had polled at least at 1% -- and his polling in the UNH survey of New Hampshire. His campaign also claimed to have polled at or above 1% in the Fox Business poll out of Iowa and a JMC Analytics poll, both of which have not been confirmed as qualifying by the RNC.
Burgum's campaign previously announced he had achieved the donor benchmark to be on stage at the debate, which comes after his pledge to provide $20 gift cards to 50,000 people who donate at least $1 to his campaign.
Suarez and Perry Johnson, a Michigan businessman, say they have met the donor requirement but are not yet receiving the qualified polling numbers they need.
The final requirement for a candidate to get on the debate stage would be to take a loyalty pledge presented by the RNC that would require each hopeful to commit to supporting the party's eventual nominee.
Ramaswamy, Haley and Scott have said they would sign the pledge.
DeSantis said he intends to support the nominee.
Trump's largest detractor of the group, Christie, has indicated that he would sign the pledge but take it "just as seriously as Donald Trump took it in 2016," seemingly signaling that he would disregard the pledge if it came down to the former president as the nominee.
ABC News' Libby Cathey and Kelsey Walsh contributed to this report.