According to Politico, Fox Business will announce qualifying criteria for the next Republican debate on Tuesday. The main stage could see as few as six participants. Those who place in the top 6 nationally based on the 5 most recent recognized polls as of January 11 will qualify. If any other candidate is in the top 5 in New Hampshire or Iowa based on recent state polls, they will also qualify.
Once again, there will be a preliminary debate. In this case, those with 1% in one or more of five recognized polls will qualify.
As of now, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie would qualify based on the 270toWin average of recent polls. Note that these may not be the same polls used by Fox.
Nobody else would qualify based on Iowa or New Hampshire. This would leave John Kasich, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul off the main stage.
The debates will be held January 14 in North Charleston, SC.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham suspended his presidential campaign Monday, Politico reports. Today was the final day for Graham to remove himself from the ballot for the February 20 South Carolina Republican primary. Graham was only averaging 1.8% in his home state, good for a distant 9th in the then 14-person race. Graham's national poll numbers were even worse, averaging less than 1%. As such, he could never crack the main debate stage, which limited his ability to gain exposure.
The Politico article notes that Graham now has an opportunity to be kingmaker in South Carolina, giving him a chance to be more vocal about his opposition to Donald Trump and fellow Senator Ted Cruz.
Suspending a Campaign vs. Ending It
If you've ever wondered why candidates 'suspend' their campaigns instead of just declaring them over, it mostly boils down to two things. First, in the unlikely event that the world changes, it is easier to revive the campaign. However, the main reason is that it takes a while to wind down a campaign, paying off bills/debts etc. This article from 2012 discusses some of this in a bit more detail.
Donald Trump is at 26%, while a group of other Republicans have become tightly grouped in the low teens, according to a new poll of New Hampshire Repbublicans conducted by Franklin Pierce University and The Boston Herald. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has all but erased Bernie Sander's lead in the one state that the Vermont Senator was ahead. New Hampshire will hold the nation's first primary (Iowa precedes it with their caucuses) on February 9.
Trump's 26% is more than double that of Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, both at 12%. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush are right there as well, with 11% and 10%, respectively. John Kasich is at 8%.
Comparing this poll to other recent ones, these results seem to indicate that Trump's core support remains steady, but not growing. Meanwhile, the more traditional candidates seem to be slowly gaining support as a group, but with a 5-way split, none are really making headway against the Republican frontrunner.
It appears that some of the candidates behind Trump will need to leave the race before his lead can effectively be challenged. That creates a paradox: All the tightly grouped candidates will be better off if one or more of them leaves, but nobody will want to be the one that leaves to miss out on that opportunity.
Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton by just 2%, well within the margin of error. Sanders led by 10% in a CNN poll last week, although trailed by 2% in a poll earlier in December. This race is effectively tied as the year comes to an end. As the Vermont Senator is trailing Clinton in most other places, including by 17% in Iowa, winning here seems critical if he is to have much of a shot against the Democratic frontrunner. Interestingly, Sanders continues to poll slightly better than Clinton in many general election match-ups.
Not too much change from earlier today. Trump dropped slightly, but still finished with 52.5% of the votes. Rubio and Cruz both gained a bit from earlier. The final results chart follows; we've removed the preliminary chart.
More than 50% of those participating in our overnight snap poll thought Donald Trump won the CNN debate. Despite barely making the cut to appear on the main stage, Rand Paul was 2nd at about 15%. Trump's closest challengers in the national Republican polls, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were third and fourth. These two spent considerable time going at each other; it appears neither had a breakout moment.
Fewer than 5% of respondents thought the remaining five candidates won the evening.
Thanks to everyone that participated in our overnight snap poll. While we eliminated obvious duplicate votes from the results, we do want to note that respondents selected themselves to participate. It is therefore not a random sample as would be the goal of a more traditional poll.
The fifth Republican debate will be held tonight at The Venetian in Las Vegas. It is hosted by CNN and Salem Radio and telecast live on CNN, moderated by Wolf Blitzer. This will be the final Republican debate for 2015.
As with previous Republican debates, it will be split into two sessions. The first, at 6 PM ET will include George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham. The main event, at 8:30 ET, will include nine candidates: The eight that participated in the Fox Business debate a few weeks back plus Chris Christie. Both Christie and Rand Paul made the main stage by virtue of their polling performance in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively. This is the first debate where early state polling was considered as a qualifying criteria.
As in prior dates, the candidates will be ordered by polling averages. CNN is using the average of national polls from November and December. Donald Trump will again hold center stage, flanked on his left by a surgng Ted Cruz and on his right by a fading Ben Carson. Marco Rubio, will be to Carson's right. Given the direction of the race today, these two probably should be switched, but they didn't ask our opinion. Jeb Bush will be to Cruz's left, with Chris Christie and Rand Paul on that end. On the other end, Carly Fiorina and John Kasich will be to the right of Rubio.
Turning to the polls, we've compiled the national 270toWin polling average for these nine, as well as that average for the first two voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. These averages include the five most recent polls, which is different than the CNN criteria.
While the top 3 are the same in all three locations, note that the recent ascendency of Ted Cruz in Iowa has not yet translated into New Hampshire.
NPR has put together a nice summary of what each candidate needs to accomplish and avoid in the debate.
The fifth Republican debate will be on Tuesday, the 15th at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Hosted by CNN and Salem Radio, it will be moderated by Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt. CNN will broadcast the debate at 9PM ET, preceded at 7PM by a forum for those not making the main event.
As a result, there will be 8, perhaps 9 participants in the main Republican debate. The final determination will come after this weekend.
The Democrats will debate next Saturday in Manchester, Vermont. ABC will host the debate beginning at 8PM ET. Co-sponsor WMUR, an ABC affiliate and New Hampshire's most influential television station was dumped from the event today because of a labor dispute with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This prevented a possible scenario where the participants would have to cross a picket line to attend the debate.
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, the three remaining Democrats in the race, are expected to participate.
A CNN | ORC Iowa poll out this afternoon paints a completely different story than the Monmouth University poll. While this poll also showed a large gain for Cruz and decline for Carson vs. the prior CNN | ORC survey, both remained well back of Donald Trump, who showed 33% support. That is a high-water mark for Trump in any Iowa poll conducted thus far.
The CNN poll was conducted from November 28 to December 6, while Monmouth did their survey from December 3 to December 6. The San Bernardino terrorist attack took place on December 2nd, so Monmouth's poll was conducted entirely after that. One would think Trump's numbers would improve or at least be steady after that incident, so the sampling dates don't seem to explain what is a huge difference between these two polls.