Rand Paul And Carly Fiorina Demoted To Undercard Debate

Stricter polling rules relegate Sen. Rand Paul & Carly Fiorina to the under-card debate Thursday. 

Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina will be excluded from the main-stage debate on Thursday. Fox Business Network which is hosting, announced earlier today that after stricter polling rules, the two will be moved down to the undercard debates. This change comes less than weeks before the first votes of the primary election are set to be cast.

Rand Paul’s campaign announced that he will not be participating in the debate on Thursday after being moved down. In an official statement on Monday, the campaign said that Fox Business had made “a mistake.” The statement continues, "We will not participate in anything that's not first-tier." The campaign also said that there were numerous polls showing Ryan within the margin to make it to the main stage. "To exclude candidates on faulty analysis is to disenfranchise the voter," the statement said. "Creating 'tiers' based on electoral results of real votes might make sense but creating 'tiers' on bad science is irresponsible."

According to Fox Business Network, the criteria to qualify for the main debate is:

  • Place in the top six nationally, based on an average of the five most recent national polls recognized by FOX News.
  • OR

  • Place in the top five in Iowa, based on an average of the five most recent Iowa state polls recognized by FOX News.
  • OR

  • Place in the top five in New Hampshire, based on an average of the five most recent New Hampshire state polls recognized by FOX News.
  • Rand Paul did not meet any of these criteria. Paul has said that he believes having a two-tiered debate system is pointless. In an interview last week, he told Politico, "I'm not sure where the purpose is anymore, if there ever was one," he said. "I think if you have a national campaign, you've raised a significant amount of money, you're on the ballot, you've employed staff and you're actively campaigning, you've got to be in the debate." If Sen. Paul is a no-show for under-card debate, that stage will include only Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

    -Bronte Price

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