Additionally, Fox Business Network used a different criteria for determining who participates in each debate. Rather than a top-10 in polls approach, as some debate sponsors have done, or a minimum polling figure threshold, as has also been used, Fox Business said that in order to qualify candidates had to finish in the top six in an average of recent national polls or in the top 5 in an average of polls in either Iowa or New Hampshire.
The result? Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina got bumped to the undercard. Paul has protested the decision and said he wouldn’t participate, saying the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll, which has him in fifth, should be taken into account. Assuming Paul doesn’t take the stage, the lineups for both debates are:
- Prime-time debate: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
- Undercard debate: Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.
Who will moderate?
The network’s Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo will be at the helm for the main debate, whileTrish Regan and Sandra Smith will moderate the undercard. The four anchors were moderators for the Nov. 10, 2015, GOP debates in Milwaukee that were also sponsored by Fox Business.
When is the next Democratic debate?
The much smaller Democratic field also travels to South Carolina in a few days. They’ll meet Sunday night in Charleston in a debate sponsored by NBC.