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Pence Meets Donor Threshold for First Debate

Former Vice President Mike Pence has crossed the threshold of the 40,000 unique donors needed to take the stage in the first Republican presidential debate, after having already met a polling threshold required by the Republican National Committee.

The Pence campaign said it has informed the RNC that he qualified and noted they were the first presidential campaign that submitted their numbers to be verified by the national party to qualify for the debate, scheduled for Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, reports The New York Times.

Fox News will host the debate.

Several others have said they have qualified for the debate, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; Sen. Tim Scott and former Gov. Nikki Haley, both of South Carolina; former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy; and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, according to Fox News, while reporting Pence’s qualification.

Former President Donald Trump, under whom Pence served, met the donor and polling requirements for the debate some time ago. However, he has often said he is not inclined to participate in the debate, given his clear front-runner status.

Pence’s polling numbers remain in the single digits, far behind Trump’s.

But his campaign issued a challenge to Trump to appear at the debate.

“Mike Pence made quick and easy work of the donor threshold, and he’s looking forward to a substantive debate about the issues important to the American people. Hopefully, former President Trump has the courage to show up,” Pence campaign spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement.

Pence has been spotlit in headlines this past week after Trump’s indictment on four counts related to the 2020 election. Pence refused Trump’s push to kick the contested Electoral College votes back to the state legislatures.

Pence’s campaign says it has 200 or more donors in 40 states, which is higher than the RNC’s 20-state threshold, reports Fox News.

The campaign also reported that it reached the donor threshold in nine weeks, quicker than Scott, Haley, and Ramaswamy, and emphasized that it met its goal without the use of gimmicks or giveaways.

Burgum made headlines earlier this summer after he offered $20 gift cards in exchange for $1 donations, which enabled him to meet the RNC’s donor guidelines.

Pence’s campaign also said that candidate events and direct mail were the campaign’s strength and that it brought in less than half of its donations through digital outreach efforts.