In a new press release, Fox News announced that the first Republican presidential debate will feature only candidates who average in the top 10 in the most recent polls, in a field where well over a dozen candidates are expected to run. (RELATED: Who Gets In The Primary Debates? A Serious Question For Republicans)
Fox News will host the first Republican presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on August 6, in conjunction with the Ohio Republican Party and Facebook. One of the requirements for debate participants is that they “must place in the top 10 of an average of the five most recent national polls, as recognized by FOX News leading up to August 4th.”
Six Republicans have already announced their candidacy for president (Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee). Four other candidates (Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and George Pataki) plan to make announcements one way or the other in the near future, and six more have taken formal steps toward running for president (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker).
The end result is that as many as six candidates could be excluded from the first debate, assuming none drop out, there are no ties, and no dark horses emerge. By comparison, only five candidates attended the first Republican debate of the 2012 cycle, and only one (Mitt Romney) was absent.
Among the other interesting tidbits from Fox News’ press release is that the debate will be hosted by a trio of Fox News hosts: Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace. Voters will be able to submit images and questions for the candidates using Facebook.