Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina Could Be Bumped To Undercard Debate

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

Republican presidential candidates [crscore]Rand Paul[/crscore] and Carly Fiorina seem likely not to get an invitation to the next primetime debate, according to the criteria unveiled by the FOX Business Network on Tuesday.

[dcquiz] According to Fox Business: “This debate will feature candidates that place in the top six nationally, based on an average of the five most recent national polls; or place in the top five in Iowa, based on an average of the five most recent Iowa state polls; or place in the top five in New Hampshire, based on an average of the five most recent New Hampshire state polls.”

That means Donald Trump, [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore], [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore], Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich are the most likely to make the primetime stage for the debate hosted again by Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo.

Kasich is still on the cusp — according to the Real Clear Politics polling average, he is in fifth place in New Hampshire, meaning the Ohio governor could squeak by if he holds that position.

Fox says the other candidates running — likely Paul, Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee — will be invited to an early debate hosted by anchors Trish Regan and Sandra Smith.

But Paul, the Kentucky senator, has said he will only debate if invited to the primetime showdown.

“I will not participate in any kind of second tier debate,” Paul said in December. “We have a first tier campaign….I am not going to let any network or anybody we are not a first tier campaign. If you tell a campaign, with three weeks to go they are second tier, you destroy the campaign. This isn’t the job of the media to pick who wins, the voters ought to get a chance.”

Fox says they will announce which candidates get invitations on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on Monday at 7 p.m. EST.

The debates will take place Thursday, January 14 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Follow Alex on Twitter