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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Republican 2024 presidential candidates seeking to participate in the Milwaukee debate must pledge not to take part in any debate during the 2024 election cycle that is not sanctioned by the GOP.

The Milwaukee debate, the first for Republican presidential contenders, is scheduled for Aug. 23, 2023.

To participate, candidates must meet several requirements, including having 40,000 unique donors to their campaign and earning a minimum amount of support in polls. The candidates must also make several pledges, including to support the eventual Republican nominee.

In August 2022, the Republican National Committee quit the Commission on Presidential Debates, demanding a debate be held before early voting starts and prohibiting moderators who previously worked for a candidate.

The commission was established jointly by the Democratic and Republican parties in 1987 to ensure debates between the leading general election presidential candidates. The commission sponsored all presidential debates between 1988 and 2020.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Republican Party RNC Announces Criteria and Date for First Debate in Milwaukee

Republican Party RNC Unanimously Votes to Withdraw from COmmission on Presidential Debates

The Commission on Presidential Debates About CPD

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.