Republican National Committee Announces Official Criteria for Candidates to Qualify for GOP Primary Debates

[Photo Credit: by Gage Skidmore]

Candidates reportedly must meet a number of requirements, including polling standards and a commitment to support the eventual nominee, in order to be eligible to participate in the first presidential primary debate in August, according to information released by the Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday.

According to the party, the first primary debate will be held on August 23 in Milwaukee, and a second debate, if required, would be held on August 24 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

Candidates must be polling at least 1% in three nationwide polls or 1% in two national polls and one early state survey from each of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to be eligible for the first debate.

Only surveys conducted on or after July 1 with at least 800 registered probable Republican voters will be accepted by the RNC. A polling company connected to a candidate is prohibited from conducting the survey.

Candidates must also meet a fundraising criteria, which calls for them to have a minimum of 40,000 distinct contributors and 200 distinct donors from at least 20 different states and territories.

The party will also demand that candidates sign a data-sharing pact and promise not to take part in any debates that the RNC has not authorized.

Former President Donald Trump, who is now leading the field of candidates in national surveys, has already expressed a desire to avoid the first two debates.

Three months before the first debate, the GOP primary field is gradually taking form.

[READ MORE: DOJ Decides Not to Charge Pence in Classified Document Scandal]