The Republican National Committee has announced the date for the fourth debate of the 2024 primaries, despite objections from front-runner Donald J. Trump. The committee has also increased the criteria for candidates to qualify for the debate, according to a memo sent to campaigns on Friday.
The next debate will take place in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Dec. 6. Candidates must now have a minimum of 80,000 unique donors and reach 6 percent in two national polls, or in one national poll and in one poll from one of the four early states.
Previously, candidates needed to achieve 4 percent in the polls and have 70,000 donors. Some candidates, such as Senator Tim Scott and former Gov. Chris Christie, struggled to meet these requirements for the November debate in Miami, although Mr. Christie managed to qualify and Mr. Scott is expected to. Other participants in the upcoming debate include Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Gov. Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
The number of candidates in the debate field is steadily decreasing. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who participated in the first two debates, announced the end of his 2024 bid last week. Additionally, Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota risks missing the next debate, while former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who qualified for the first debate, has not met the criteria since.
Mr. Trump and his top advisers have urged the party to cancel the remaining debates due to his significant lead in the polls.
In a statement last month, Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita from the Trump campaign called for the party to cancel all the debates, including the upcoming one in Miami, “in order to refocus its manpower and money on preventing Democrats’ efforts to steal the 2024 election.” Mr. Trump has repeatedly expressed similar sentiments on his social media website.