It’s been a quiet couple of weeks on the Iowa Caucus campaign trail and just three of the dozen or so GOP presidential candidates have announced plans to campaign in Iowa over the 4th of July holiday.

That may be because of a looming fundraising deadline. A candidate has to show 40,000 individuals have donated to their campaign in order to qualify for the first televised debate in August.

Dave Kochel was the Iowa GOP’s political director in 1996 and he’s worked on several presidential campaigns in the past. “It’s probably more important for candidates at this point who are trying to find those donors to get themselves on Fox and get some attention for themselves than to campaign in Iowa, which isn’t really going to drive any small dollar donations into their campaign,” Kochel told Radio Iowa. “That’s, I think, job number one for some of these candidates who are going to struggle to find that many donors to get themselves on stage.”

Kochel, who worked for the Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney campaigns, said reaching that 40,000 donor goal is tough for candidates who aren’t famous or considered frontrunners and failing to qualify for the debate means a candidate would have a difficult time convincing voters they can beat Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

“The debate in August is going to be the thing that has the most eyeballs nationally and it will influence how things are going in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire,” Kochel said, “so it’s just one of those big mileposts that everyone is going to look forward to.”

The Republican National Committee has scheduled its first debate of the presidential campaign season for August 23rd, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition to the fundraising threshold, candidates have to show they’re reached at least one percent support in three different polls to qualify.

Former Vice President Mike Pence plans to be at the 4th of July parade in Urbandale and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is visiting the Linn County Fair Sunday and will be in the West Des Moines parade on Monday night. Texas pastor Ryan Binkley is also campaigning in the state this weekend. As of noon on Friday, no other campaign has indicated their candidate will be in the state over the 4th of July holiday period.

Radio Iowa