The Republican National Committee (RNC) has set a date for its fourth GOP presidential date, slating the event for Dec. 6 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The RNC has upped its qualification criteria for candidates hoping to get on the debate stage after each of its events so far, and will have even tougher thresholds for candidates eyeing the Alabama stage. An RNC spokesperson confirmed the December date in Tuscaloosa.
Presidential hopefuls will need to be polling at 6 percent or higher in two national polls, or at 6 percent in one early state poll from two separate “carve out” states — listed as Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — to get behind a podium in December, according to a release from the RNC.
That’s higher than the 4 percent requirements for the third debate in Miami — set to take place next Wednesday.
The polls also need to survey at least 8,000 registered likely Republican voters, among other requirements.
And while the Miami debate required at least 70,000 unique donors, candidates will need to bring in a minimum of 80,000 unique donors to their principal presidential campaign committee, with at least 200 unique donors in 20 or more states or territories each.
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The Republican presidential contenders will have until 48 hours prior to the scheduled debate to meet the hurdles, according to the RNC.
The move to schedule a fourth debate in December comes after questions about whether candidates would have another such opportunity to reach potential voters before the Iowa caucuses in January kick off the GOP presidential nomination cycle.
Former President Trump, the frontrunner of the party field, has skipped the debates so far and called for the RNC to nix future events.
Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence dropped out of the race last weekend after participating in the first two debates, as many hope the field will start to narrow and support will consolidate behind a non-Trump candidate to close the former president’s significant lead.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appear to have met the criteria for the third debate in Miami next week.