Monday, January 11, 2016
Thursday's Republican presidential debate on the Fox Business Channel will be the smallest debate of the 2016 cycle for the GOP, as only 7 candidates made the cut.
Candidates qualified for the debate in one of two ways: be in the top six nationally in an average of the most recent live phone surveys, or be in the top five in Iowa or New Hampshire. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush all made it in by being in the top six nationally, while John Kasich got in by being in the top five in New Hampshire.
Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina, both present in the last debates, polled too low to make it in through either method. They will join Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum in the "undercard" debate, although Paul has said he will skip the junior debate altogether, as his "first tier campaign" deserves the "first tier debate".