Republican presidential candidate and conservative radio personality Larry Elder is launching a $400,000 television advertisement buy to air this week after the Republican National Committee (RNC) disqualified the GOP hopeful from the first debate stage in late August.
The ad, titled “Larry Elder vs. The Establishment,” will broadcast in the key early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, as well as other states nationwide, according to the campaign. Elder hopes to make the RNC’s second debate stage, which will require candidates to meet an increased donor and polling threshold, after the committee barred him from the first debate over what they deemed an ineligible survey.
“The Republican National Committee banned me from the debate stage last month even though I exceeded their qualifications. The RNC is scared because they know I will talk about difficult issues — the epidemic of fatherlessness, my proposal to fire George Soros-backed DA’s and the lie that America is systemically racist,” Elder said in the video.
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Elder has raised $1.3 million since the first debate, according to the campaign.
Elder’s debate qualifying petition was denied by the RNC due to a Rasmussen Reports survey having alleged ties to former President Donald Trump, according to the campaign. The GOP hopeful maintains he met all of the criteria, and his campaign then filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against the committee for not allowing him to participate in the Aug. 23 debate.
Candidates were required to surpass a 40,000 unique donor threshold, meet polling criteria and sign a loyalty pledge to support the eventual nominee to take the stage. The hopefuls must have polled at or above 1% in three national polls, or 1% in two national polls and in two key early primary state polls; the surveys had to be conducted by July 1, have at least 800 likely GOP primary voters and could not be affiliated with any campaign to be recognized by the RNC.
Along with Elder, former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has since suspended his campaign, all did not make the debate stage due to polling requirements, a source familiar with the RNC’s qualification process previously confirmed to the DCNF.
For the second debate on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, GOP hopefuls will have to exceed a 50,000 unique donor threshold, as well as 3% support in two national polls or 3% in one national and two key early primary state polls.
The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between Aug. 24 and Aug. 31, indicates Elder has 0.4% support. Elder is polling at 1% in Iowa and 1% in New Hampshire, according to FiveThirtyEight’s survey compilation.
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Fox Business will host the second debate, and Fox News’ Dana Perino and Stuart Varney will co-moderate the event alongside Univision’s Ilia Calderón.
The RNC did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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