[guest post by Dana]
With the Republican presidential debates on the horizon, Fox and CNN have established individual criteria that will determine which of the 19 contenders will have a place on the stage.
Fox will accept the top 10 contenders, based on their poll numbers, for the first debate in Cleveland Aug. 6. Entrants must have formally registered for a presidential campaign with the Federal Election Commission and have paid all necessary federal and state filing fees.
CNN announced a two-tier system for its Sept. 16 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The top 10 candidates will debate in one group, and the remaining candidates will face off in another. Each candidate must poll at 1 percent or higher. CNN requires debate participants to have at least one paid campaign staffer in two of the early voting states and have visited two of those states at least once.
Based on Fox’s criteria and RealClearPolitics’ current numbers, Carly Fiorina and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would be cut. This is unfortunate given that they are the diversity the party desperately needs to reach women and minority voters. (Fiorina has been tearing it up lately as she travels the country relentlessly attacking Hillary and Obama. Whether she’s running for president or vice-president, it would be a shame to not see her in action on the debate stage. Her fearlessness is something the other candidates should take serious notice of…)
And unbelievably, if outside survey numbers hold and Donald Trump throws his name in the ring, he would actually secure a spot. Over Jindal and Fiorina.
Fox, acknowledging the problem of excluding some candidates, threw a bone to the Republicans by “pledging to provide additional coverage and airtime on the day of the debate for candidates who do not place in the top 10”.
The Republican National Committee supports Fox’s plan to limit candidates.