Five Republican presidential candidates say they have met fundraising benchmarks to participate in the party’s first primary debate next month, as other campaigns hustle both to secure the necessary financial support and hit the required polling thresholds.

Campaign reps for former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy each told The Post Monday that they had already been backed by 40,000 unique donors — including 200 unique donors in at least 20 states or territories — more than seven weeks before the first Republican National Committee-sponsored debate Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, Wis.

The next step for GOP presidential hopefuls looking for a debate slot is to garner at least 1% support in three independent national polls or two national polls and one independent poll from two of four early voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

A handful of Republican presidential candidates say they have already met fundraising benchmarks their party set for its first debate in August, including former President Donald Trump.
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Campaign representatives for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told The Post that a threshold of 40,000 donors had been reached.
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To count toward the criteria, the polls have to have been in the field after July 1 and surveyed at least 800 registered Republicans likely to vote in the GOP primary. The polling period closes on Aug. 21.

As of Monday, seven Republican candidates are polling above 1% in RealClearPolitics’ national average. Of those seven, former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have not said whether they met the RNC’s donor threshold — though they still have until Aug. 21 to hit the target.

Other candidates, including former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former Texas GOP Rep. Will Hurd, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and conservative radio host Larry Elder, are all polling below 1% in the RCP average, with Hutchinson (0.8%) and Elder (0.7%) closest to breaking through.

Former Vice President Mike Pence
Former Vice President Mike Pence has not said whether his campaign met the RNC’s donor threshold.
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Perhaps the most controversial criterion imposed by the RNC is the requirement that candidates sign pledges to support the eventual GOP nominee and not participate in any non-committee-sanctioned debate.

Pence, Haley and Scott have all publicly indicated they will sign the support pledge, but not all have agreed.

Christie, Hutchinson and Hurd — who have all spoken out against Trump in the course of their campaigns — have promised they will not sign, jeopardizing their spot on the Milwaukee stage should they otherwise qualify.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
Pence, Haley and Scott have indicated they would sign a pledge supporting the Republican Party’s eventual nominee.
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Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
“He looks forward to being on the debate stage to share his message of hope and optimism anchored in our conservative values,” Scott spokeswoman Nicole Morales said.
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Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy
Ramaswamy has said he would only sign on to a pledge that all candidates agree to.
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“I can’t lie to get access to a microphone,” Hurd told CNN Sunday. “I’m not going to support Donald Trump. I recognize the impact that has on my ability to get access to the debate stage, but I can’t lie.”

A source with knowledge of the RNC’s criteria told The Post the pledge would be the last step required of candidates who have already met donor and polling requirements.

Trump, the frontrunner, has not said whether he would sign the pledge and that his support for any Republican presidential candidate would “depend on who the nominee was.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has not said whether he has reached the RNC’s donor threshold.
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DeSantis, who is polling 31 percentage points behind Trump in the RCP average, said in a May interview he “look[s] forward to participating” in the Republican debates for 2024.

But Never Back Down, a pro-DeSantis super PAC, told RealClearPolitics last week that the governor may skip the August debate, hosted and broadcast by Fox News, if Trump ducks out over his past issues with the cable channel.

Ramaswamy, meanwhile, has said he would only sign on to the pledge if all the other candidates agree to do so as well.

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
Despite some pressure from candidates, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has stood her ground on the candidate’s pledge requirement.
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“What I’ll say is, if the other candidates in this race make that pledge, I will stand by and be willing to, because that’s a condition for open debate in our own party,” he told Fox News last month.

Despite some pressure from candidates, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has stood her ground on the candidate’s pledge requirement.

“It’s the Republican Party nomination and the pledge is staying,” she said in a June interview on “Fox News Tonight.” “Anybody who wants to seek the nomination of our party should pledge to support the voters. If you go through this process and you take time on the debate stage and you’re going to be there, the number one pledge should be, beat Biden.”