GOP Debate 2015 Candidates Named: Top 10 Republican Candidates Confirmed For First Major Debate
The first 2016 Republican presidential debate finally has its 10 candidates following criteria set forth by Fox News Channel.
Although there are 17 Republicans seeking the highest office in the U.S., Fox News, and fellow debate partner Facebook, stated the White House hopefuls must place in the top 10 of an average of the five most recent national polls "as recognized by Fox News" leading up to Aug. 4 at 5 p.m. EST. Based on the rules, which was agreed by the Republican National Committee (RNC), the polling data must be conducted by a major nationally recognized organization "that use standard methodological techniques."
At 6 p.m. EST, debate moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace announced the 10 candidates for the main 9 p.m. show, while the remaining seven names will be invited for a 5 p.m. debate show on the network.
The 10 names were revealed based on their rankings on the five national polls and include real estate businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The channel based the names from the following five national polls: Bloomberg, CBS News, Fox News, Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University. The addition of the Quinnipiac University poll may have played a major factor on the 10th spot in the 9 p.m. debate show since an NBC-Wall Street Journal national poll took place after Quinnipiac's survey. Fox News, however, voided the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll because the survey "did not meet our criterion that the poll read the names of each Republican candidate in the vote question."
The seven remaining candidates for the 5 p.m. debate are Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. While the 9 p.m. debate will last two hours, the 5 p.m. debate is only one-hour long, but both will occur in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Ohio.
Candidates in the 5 p.m. debate offered a mixed response.
"The idea that they have left out the runner-up for the 2012 nomination, the former four-term governor of Texas, the governor of Louisiana, the first female Fortune 50 CEO, and the 3-term Senator from South Carolina due to polling seven months before a single vote is cast is preposterous," Rick Santorum communications manager Matt Beynon said in a statement on Tuesday.
Fiorina said, in a statement, "I look forward to answering questions on Thursday in Cleveland. I continue to be encouraged by the support of conservative activists and grassroots Republicans across the country."
Graham offered a tweet featuring emojis.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 5, 2015
Perry also tweeted, writing, "I look forward to being @FoxNews 5pm debate for what will be a serious exchange of ideas & positive solutions to get America back on track."
I look forward to being @FoxNews 5pm debate for what will be a serious exchange of ideas & positive solutions to get America back on track. — Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) August 4, 2015
The RNC maintained positivity. In a statement following the debate names, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus stated, "Our field is the biggest and most diverse of any party in history and I am glad to see that every one of those extremely qualified candidates will have the opportunity to participate on Thursday evening.
"Republicans across the country will be able to choose which candidate has earned their support after hearing them talk through the issues," he added. "Democrats will have to take Hillary Clinton's word that she deserves to be their nominee. While the RNC is moving forward with our sanctioned debate schedule, the DNC has yet to even announce when they will put her onstage."
While the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has not announced their first debate schedule, the DNC is preparing their surrogates ahead and after the debate including interviews with DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper and Reps. Marcy Kaptur, Marcia Fudge and Tim Ryan of Ohio.
Democrats will be holding a press conference on Thursday afternoon from outside the Quicken Loans Arena with Wasserman Schultz to discuss the first GOP debate.
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