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Doug Burgum says he qualified for GOP presidential debate, after paying donors $20 for $1 donations

Burgum on his "one" campaign promise so far in 2024
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says he has "only one" campaign promise so far in 2024 presidential race 06:48

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has qualified for the first Republican presidential primary debate next month in Milwaukee, his campaign announced Tuesday, after Burgum offered donors $20 gift cards for $1 donations. 

The first debate requires candidates to collect 40,000 individual donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state, as well as poll at 1% in three RNC-sanctioned polls, or 1% in two other national polls and two polls from key states. Although the RNC has not announced who has qualified for the debate, Burgum is the seventh Republican to say they have qualified for the debate, with his team noting he received 1% in a Morning Consult national poll. 

"Governor Burgum is looking forward to sharing his focus on the economy, energy and national security at the August debate," said Burgum's campaign spokesman, Lance Trover, in a news relase. "In less than 7 weeks, Governor Burgum has exceeded all the requirements for the debate. As a Governor and business leader Doug knows how to fix the economy, unleash American energy and win the Cold War with China."  

Burgum's team noted he reached the donation threshold just six weeks after launching his campaign, but did not mention the gift card exchange. Experts are divided on whether Burgum's offer of a $20 Visa or Mastercard gift card to donors is legal. Burgum told CNN he promised to give out 50,000 gift cards. 

Burgum has so far kept a low profile as governor, largely staying out of the national spotlight until he declared his presidential bid. His bid is a long shot, facing a field of more well-known candidates.

— Laura Doan contributed to this report 

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