The first of twelve GOP debates will be this Thursday, in Cleveland, Ohio, also the site of the Republican National Convention next July. As has been widely reported, Fox is limiting the main stage in this first debate to the top ten candidates based on an average of the five most recent, nationally recognized polls.
With an influx of polling early this week, here is our calculated average for the GOP field:
See the underlying polls here. Not shown are Graham, Gilmore and Pataki, all averaging under 0.5%.
These may not be the five polls Fox uses to come up with its average -- the cutoff for polls to be considered is 5PM eastern today -- but every indication is that Chris Christie and John Kasich will get the final two spots, and Rick Perry will join the other low-polling announced candidates at a separate debate, scheduled for 5PM that evening.
While it remains a bit questionable to base the debate field on an election that doesn't exist, the results of these last five polls have been pretty consistent.
The debate airs at 9PM Thursday on Fox News.
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