“Republicans set presidential debate rules that could exclude some”

Odd WP headline, since that’s the point of having any rules for inclusion. But here are the details — these are the rules for the first debate only:

The Republican National Committee will require presidential candidates to attract 40,000 individual campaign donors and the support of at least 1 percent of voters in multiple national polls to qualify for the first debate with Fox News in Milwaukee this August, according to four people briefed on the plans.

The filter, which also requires candidates to pledge support for the party’s eventual nominee, are stricter than similar rules Democrats adopted to set their own first debate stage in 2019, when 20 candidates met over two nights. Democrats allowed candidates to qualify either by meeting a 65,000-donor threshold or by getting 1 percent in at least three early state or national polls.

Republicans, by contrast, will require both a donor and a polling standard. The polling standard requires a candidate to be at 1 percent nationally in multiple polls that are deemed credible by the RNC. One person briefed on the plan said there may be an option to use state polls as well if candidates can get more than one national poll showing them at 1 percent.

“Debates are not a vanity project but a critical opportunity to find the next President of the United States. If you can’t find 40,000 unique donors to give you a dollar and at least 1 percent of the primary electorate to support you, how can you expect to defeat Joe Biden?” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.

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