Chris Christie’s campaign said Monday that the former New Jersey governor had hit the donor requirement to qualify for the GOP’s fourth presidential debate next month, as candidates work to meet the Republican National Committee (RNC) thresholds to get on the Tuscaloosa, Ala., stage.
“Coming off the heels of Christie’s strong performance at the third debate last week, we’ve seen the best fundraising week of the campaign since he announced, bringing in thousands of new donors in just the five days since. The campaign now has well over 80,000 donors and meets all the criteria needed for the next debate,” a spokesperson for the campaign said in a memo.
The RNC required candidates to have 70,000 unique donors to get on the Miami debate stage last week and raised it to 80,000 for the next event.
The party also raised polling criteria to require candidates to reach at least 6 percent in two national polls — or 6 percent in one national poll and 6 percent in one early-state poll “from two separate ‘carve out’ states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina) recognized by the RNC.” The polls must also meet a few other benchmarks, including some related to how many voters are surveyed and who conducts the poll.
The Christie campaign contended Monday that it’s met the RNC’s polling criteria, too, though the RNC hasn’t confirmed whether the polls it highlighted meet the requirements.
A Liberal Patriot/YouGov survey found Christie at 10 percent support, but it was conducted Sept. 7-18, while the RNC says the cutoff for qualifying polls is Sept. 15.
The Hill has reached out to the RNC about the polls the Christie campaign indicated.
“Of the eight candidates at the first debate, two have been knocked off the stage, and two others have dropped out. We will be down to four come December,” the campaign said. “Christie has already outlasted a former Vice President, a current US Senator, a current self-funding governor, and another former governor who were all on that stage.”
Just five candidates made the third debate in Miami.
The Christie campaign’s announcement comes just after Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — who took part in the third debate — dropped out of the race. Many in the party hope the field will continue to winnow, allowing for support to consolidate behind a candidate who can make the race more competitive with former President Trump, who holds a significant lead both nationally and in the early-voting states.
NBC News first reported on the Christie campaign’s announcement.