The Republican National Committee set a date for the fourth 2024 primary debate — over the objection of party front-runner Donald J. Trump — and gradually increased the criteria for taking the plunge, according to a memo sent to campaigns. Friday.
The next debate, the party announced during the campaign, will take place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on December 6. Candidates will need to have a minimum of 80,000 unique donors and have reached 6 percent in two national polls, or in one national poll. and in a poll in one of the top four states.
The previous benchmarks were 4 percent in polls and 70,000 donors, a level that some candidates, including Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, had struggled to reach during of the November debate in Miami. although Mr. Christie has achieved it and Mr. Scott should. Other participants in the debate next week will be Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
The field of debates has continued to narrow: former Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the first two debates, announced that he end his candidacy for 2024 last week, and Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota appears in danger of missing the upcoming debate. Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who organized the first debate, has since failed to meet the criteria.
Mr. Trump and his top advisers have pressured the party to cancel remaining debates because he is far ahead in the polls.
In a statement last month, the Trump campaign’s Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita called on the party to cancel all debates, including next week’s in Miami, “in order to refocus its staff and money on prevention of Democratic efforts to steal victory.” 2024 Elections.” Mr. Trump has repeatedly echoed versions of this thought on his social media site.
In an interview Friday at an Orlando hotel, Mr. Christie said he did not like the new criteria, calling the thresholds “arbitrary,” but said he would respect them.
While Mr. Christie expressed confidence that he would reach the highest bar in polling and donors, he also cautioned: “I think it distracts a little bit from our campaign efforts because we need to focus on finding $1 donors to reach some. arbitrary number. And there is no doubt that it is arbitrary. Why is it 80? Why isn’t it 85? Why isn’t it 75? What does that really mean? So I don’t like it, but I’m going to comply with it.
“In my opinion, I would not have raised this issue at all, but I could not make this decision,” he said, adding that “we are not at 80,000 today , but we will work on it.”