CNN Makes Room For Fiorina In Primetime GOP Debate

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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CNN has changed the criteria for its upcoming Republican presidential primary debate, clearing the way for Carly Fiorina to make it on the main stage, the network announced Tuesday.

Fiorina wowed in the second-tier debate in August, and has argued since that CNN’s criteria for its debate would unfairly disqualify her. Hundreds of business leaders and state-level representatives sent a letter on her behalf to CNN President Jeff Zucker Tuesday urging the network to include her in the debate.

“In a world where we expected there to be at least 15 national polls, based on historic precedent, it appears there will be only five,” CNN said in a statement announcing the changes Tuesday. “As a result, we now believe we should adjust the criteria to ensure the next debate best reflects the most current state of the national race.”

Any candidate who ranks in the top 10 in national polling between Aug. 6 and Sept. 10 will now be included in the primetime debate Sept. 16.

Fiorina has jumped to seventh in the Real Clear Politics national polling average, ahead of Chris Christie, Rand Paul and others since the first debate. She has also been surging in important primary states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, where she jumped to third place above Jeb Bush and Scott Walker in the most recent polls.

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