The top 8 Republicans likely in the first 2016 debate
As the event draws closer and polls start to agree on where the candidates stand, we can begin to get an idea of which Republicans will make it into the first debate on August 6. There are about eight candidates who are in the “likely” category which leaves two slots open for the remaining eight to fight for.
Report from CNN:
For Republican candidates dreaming of starring in the first presidential debate, Donald Trump is both the road and the roadblock to turning that into a reality.
Trump’s rise — punctuated with an exclamation point in a poll this week that showed that he was the first choice of one-quarter of Republican voters — is scrunching together the rearguard of the GOP field, putting six candidates in danger of either falling off the stage or in hopes of crawling onto it. And the Trump boomlet could be starving those on the precipice from the attention they need to secure their standing.
Out of a desire to apply the lessons of a ceaseless debate schedule in 2012, Republican Party officials decided to rein in the process by limiting the total number of official forums leading up to the 2016 election. There will be 9 official televised debates as a result. Host networks Fox and CNN decided to offer further restrictions of who would participate in the debates in hopes of managing the expansive field. Fox said it will only invite the top 10 finishers in recent opinion polls to debate, whereas CNN will split the field in two: those polling in the top 10 and then a separate debate with the rest of the field so long as they reach 1% in national polls.
CNN put together a graphic showing the current split:
As you can see, there are about eight candidates currently vying for the bottom two spots. The short list includes some major names, such as Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, and Carly Fiorina. The battle in the next two weeks to stand out will likely consume the discussion as candidates attempt to get noticed and possibly bump up their standing a couple points in national polls.