The eligibility rules for any candidate wishing to participate in the September 7th Republican debate from the Reagan Library have been released by the debate organizers. This debate is sponsored by NBC News, Politico and the Reagan Library Foundation.
Report from Politico:
The purpose of these eligibility standards is to give Americans watching the NBC News/POLITICO/Reagan Foundation debate an opportunity to hear all Republicans who have a reasonable prospect of becoming the GOP nominee and who have demonstrated that they are in a credible position to be a principal competitor in the early stages of the nominating contest.
1. A candidate must have formally announced his/her intention to seek the Presidency.
2. A candidate must demonstrate that he/she has registered at least four percent (4%) support as the preferred nominee among Republicans in a methodologically sound and recognized national poll conducted by one of the following survey organizations since the November 2010 elections: Gallup, Bloomberg, NBC/WSJ, ABC/Washington Post, CBS/The New York Times, CNN, FOX and Associated Press.
The 4% number is substantially tighter than the 1% number set forth in previous debates sponsored by Fox News and CNN. Clearly NBC and Politico are looking to have slightly smaller stage and perhaps a more pointed debate giving each of the qualifying candidates more air time.
No word on an official list of who will participate though you can expect to hopefully see Rick Perry debut on the debate stage along with Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and a few more depending on how the polls continue to shake out. Notably absent will be Tim Pawlenty since he dropped out following the Ames Straw Poll.