Fox News announced its line-up for the opening GOP debate on Thursday in Cleveland and the big news is at the bottom of the list.
The network said:
The roster of 10 candidates was determined based on an average of the five most recent national polls. Trump as expected made the cut, securing the top slot. Right behind him were Bush and Walker, who each have posted strong numbers in recent surveys.
The drama, rather, was at the edge of the top 10. Christie and Kasich, who were hovering by that edge in recent polling, were able to qualify.
So the Governor of the state in which the debate will actually be held, as well as where the GOP convention will be next year, squeaks into the senior squad. Which means that Messrs Perry, Jindal, Santorum, Fiorina, Pataki, Graham and Gilmore will be taking part in the “preliminary” debate earlier in the evening.
Santorum, for one, was outraged.
But despair not. Byron York writes at the Washington Examiner that “no Trump could make for a better debate.”
The winner of the kids’ table debate won’t stay at the kids’ table. “At least one or two of the [second-tier] debate candidates will be strong by the Iowa caucus, and one or two of the primetime participants will have collapsed,” says Newt Gingrich, whose commanding debate performances led him to the top of the Republican pack in 2011-2012.
Breitbart News, meanwhile, says the front-runner is “ready to rumble.”
“I hope we can keep it on a high level,” Trump said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Tuesday afternoon. “If that doesn’t happen, I’m willing to go to the other route. But I will say the two people who hit me really hard both went down in the polls.”
As the debate lineup was announced, Trump’s dominance in Republican polls continues unabated.
On the Democratic side, the latest WMUR poll showed Bernie Sanders within the margin of error behind Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.
And he has a new ad.