What to Know About the First Republican Presidential Debate for the 2024 Election

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That déjà vu you feel? It means we’re approaching another presidential election cycle, and though I hate to use the phrase, we really are entering unprecedented times. Current polling shows that the 2024 presidential election is shaping up to be a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who has recently been indicted four times, including for conspiracy to defraud the United States. But there’s still a long road ahead before Election Day, including this cycle’s first Republican presidential primary debate. Below, everything you need to know about the upcoming event.

When is the Republican primary debate?

The Republican National Committee announced the first Republican presidential primary debate will be on August 23 from 9-11 P.M. ET at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. According to The New York Times, candidates will not be making opening statements, though they will be able to make 45-second closing statements. Answers till be limited to one minute each.

How can I watch the Republican primary debate?

Per Politico, it will be broadcast exclusively on Fox News Channel with Fox Business Network simulcasting the debate. You can also livestream the debate on FoxNews.com or, if you’re a platform subscriber, on Fox Nation. Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will be co-moderating.

Which candidates have qualified for the debate?

In order to participate in this first debate, the RNC announced several qualifications, including the following:

  • Poll at least one percent in three national polls or one percent in two national polls and one percent in one early state poll from two separate “carve out” states, which the RNC recognizes as Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina
  • Get a minimum of 40,000 unique donors with at least 200 unique donors in at least 20 states or territories
  • Pledge to support the 2024 party nominee

So far, the candidates who have qualified include Trump; Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott; former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley; entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum; and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Will Donald Trump be debating?

Though Fox News and RNC executives have encouraged him to join, Trump has officially confirmed he will not be participating in this first debate, writing on his social media platform that the public “knows who I am” and he “will therefore not be doing the debates,” per CNN. Instead, on the same night, Trump is planning to post an online, pre-taped interview with former Fox anchor Tucker Carlson.

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Madison Feller

Madison is a senior writer/editor at ELLE.com, covering news, politics, and culture. When she’s not on the internet, you can most likely find her taking a nap or eating banana bread.

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