- Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
- With a 3% cut off for the next debate, Huckabee, Christie and Paul are all on the chopping block.
(Wall Street Journal) - It could be a crowded first debate, and a lonely second one.
CNBC on Wednesday released its criteria for deciding which candidates will be allowed to participate in the Oct. 28 primetime debate, and which will be relegated to the earlier event.
Candidates who average 3% in national polls conducted by NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg between Sept. 17 and Oct. 21 can join the top tier event, CNBC said. The rest of the field will join the earlier debate, provided they garner at least 1% in a national poll by those six outlets.
Unlike past debates, CNBC is not placing a cap on how many candidates can participate in its primetime event. The overall field has also shrunk in recent months, with the exits of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov.Scott Walker.
A Real Clear Politics average of national polling suggests that the candidates who would make the cut for primetime are Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie. Candidates who rank at 2.5% or above in the polls have their numbers rounded up to 3%.
Rand Paul’s average in the polls RCP tracks is 2.3%.
Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham—all of whom took part in the undercard debate earlier this month—all rank at 0.5% or less, alternately winning 1% or 0% in the polls.
RCP bases its averages on a different selection of polls than CNBC’s criteria stipulate. A Washington Post analysis based on the polls conducted so far that meet CNBC’s specific polls criteria found that Mr. Paul — at 2.8% — would join the other nine candidates in the top-tier debate, while Messrs. Pataki, Santorum and Jindal would make up the earlier event. Messrs. Gilmore and Graham wouldn’t qualify for either event.
Asked whether the network would hold a second-tier debate in the event there was only one participant, a CNBC official said, “We don’t deal in hypotheticals.”