Port: Doug Burgum has officially qualified for the first debate stage. Now what?

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MINOT — When Gov. Doug Burgum announced his presidential campaign in early June, I wrote that he had 78 days to prove it was an endeavor worth taking seriously.

My calculation was based on the date of the GOP’s first primary debate, which takes place in August in Wisconsin. The candidate needed 40,000 individual donors and a pulse in the polls to make the stage.

Burgum accomplished it in 48 days — Burgum adviser Dawson Schefter told me early Tuesday morning, July 25, that a new Morning Consult survey was the last piece of the puzzle for them.

The candidate resorted to an unusual tactic to get here. I’m talking about the $20 cash cards Burgum was selling in exchange for $1 donations to his campaign.

The data tells us how necessary that gambit was for Burgum.

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