CNBC GOP Debate Criteria Could Knock Out Candidates

Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, John Kasich
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Only candidates earning an average of three percent support in selected national polls will be allowed on the next GOP prime time debate stage, according to CNBC.

This puts several contenders in jeopardy of being sent to the earlier debate.

CNBC and the Republican National Committee will host the third GOP presidential primary debate in Boulder, Colorado on October 28.

CNBC’s criteria for both the early debate and primetime debate were announced Wednesday:

National polls will be used to determine a candidate’s eligibility and placement on the stage. To be eligible to appear in either segment, a candidate must have at least 1% in any one of the methodologically sound and recognized national polls conducted by: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg, released between September 17, 2015 and October 21, 2015.

To appear in the 8pm debate a candidate must have an average of 3% among these polls. The polls will be averaged and will be rounded up to 3% for any candidate with a standing of 2.5% or higher. Candidates who average below that will be invited to the 6pm debate.

According to Real Clear Politics, which includes polls that may not be used by CNBC, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR) and Gov. Chris Christie (NJ) are right at the cut off. Gov. John Kasich (OH) would qualify, but Sen. Rand Paul (KY) would not make the main stage, as his RCP average is 2.3 percent.


Paul’s spokesperson Eleanor May tells Breitbart News that, according to the CNBC criteria, if the debate were held tomorrow, Paul would make the primetime debate stage. And his communications director Sergio Gor adds: “We are pleased that Senator Rand Paul will be on the main stage in Colorado. We look forward to seeing him present a clear vision for liberty later this month.”


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