Doug Burgum Suspends 2024 Presidential Bid, Citing RNC Debate Requirements

The 2024 GOP presidential field has grown even smaller as North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has officially announced the suspension of his 2024 presidential campaign.

In a statement announcing his exit from the race, he wrote, “We launched our campaign for President on June 7 clear-eyed about our mission: bring a business leader and proven governor’s voice to the fight for the best of America. We are a nation built on freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility. A nation where neighbors help neighbors, and where innovation, not regulation, lifts us all to reach our highest potential.”

The decision comes after Burgum struggled with getting name recognition among voters and meeting the Republican National Committee’s debate requirements despite financing his campaign with millions of his own dollars and offering $20 gift cards in exchange for campaign donations.

While the approach played a pivotal role in reaching the unique donor threshold he needed for the first two debates, it was not enough. Despite his initial promise to stay in the race through the early-voting contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, Burgum did not seem to qualify for the upcoming fourth debate.

In his statement, Burgum pointed out that the RNC’s debate requirements played a crucial role in his decision to step back, stating, “The RNC’s clubhouse debate requirements are nationalizing the primary process and taking the power of democracy away from the engaged, thoughtful citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire.”

“The RNC’s mission is to win elections. It is not their mission to reduce competition and restrict fresh ideas by ‘narrowing the field’ months before the Iowa caucuses or the first in the nation New Hampshire primary,” he added.

Despite suspending his campaign, Burgum renewed his commitment to opposing President Joe Biden and charting a different course from the current administration. “We remain committed to improving the lives of every American by moving America 180 degrees in the opposite direction of Joe Biden on three critical issues — the economy, energy and national security,” he wrote.

Burgum, although successful in qualifying for the first two GOP debates, fell short of meeting the RNC threshold for the third debate held in Miami, Florida. His polling numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire hovered around 1.7% and 1.9%, respectively, as of mid-November. Nationally, he garnered only 0.7% in FiveThirtyEight’s poll average.

Reflecting on his campaign experience during a New Hampshire radio show last week, the governor admitted that he might not have entered the race had he known the extent of the RNC’s debate requirements.

“The amount of resources to run a national effort is very different than the resources to run in state. And also, you’ve got a limited amount of time as well. So, if you’re someone who’s getting into this, as we did on June 7, you know, where you don’t have national name recognition because you haven’t held national office you haven’t, you know, been a pundit on a national television program,” he shared.

Eighty percent of Burgum’s campaign was self-funded, with a total investment of $12.2 million out of the $15.1 million raised since announcing his candidacy. Forbes estimated his net worth to be around $100 million.

Burgum’s decision to suspend his campaign comes after Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former Vice President Mike Pence, talk show host Larry Elder, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and former Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) walked away from the bid.