By J. Wilson
With three weeks to go until actual voting begins in Iowa people are finally starting to make up their minds about who they’re voting for. Despite this, the media has decided that now is the time to start limiting Republican voters’ choices with arbitrary debate criteria. They aren’t trying to shrink the stage to make voters’ choices easier though; it’s much more sinister than that.
There’s an ulterior motive that caused FOX Business’ debate criteria to be so tough. Now that Graham and Pataki have dropped out of the race the undercard debate would only have two candidates; Santorum and Huckabee. While that should have caused the undercard debate to be eliminated, FOX Business doesn’t want to forgo the advertising dollars. They’re keeping the undercard debate but of course they can’t have a debate with only two candidates. Therefore, FOX Business had to make up some tough criteria to knock a couple candidates off the main stage in order to fill up the undercard.
FOX Business established that a Republican candidate would need to finish in the top six in national polls, or in the top five in polls from Iowa or New Hampshire. As a result, there are a couple Republican candidates who will not make the debate stage this Thursday. They’ll be sent down to fill up the undercard debate instead.
Barring a miracle Carly Fiorina will not be in the FOX Business debate with the rest of the top tier candidates. She will be relegated back down to the undercard debate from whence she came. Fiorina’s numbers peaked months ago at 15% and have slid down to the 2% support she holds today. Those numbers plus the fact that she hasn’t filed for the ballot in every state and doesn’t have any early state ground organization to speak of it earns her a spot in the undercard. She does not have a first tier campaign and never did. In fact, Fiorina probably shouldn’t have been included in the last debate either. She’s been running for VP from day one and should never have been taken seriously. It’s about time Carly Fiorina is kicked off the main stage.
Although he has a strong case for inclusion Rand Paul is also on the bubble and may be unfairly excluded from the FOX Business debate. They established that a candidate would need to finish in the top six in national polls, or the top five in polls from Iowa or New Hampshire. That seems odd, why not top six in both? Well, if they did it that way Rand Paul would be guaranteed a spot on the stage. Rand Paul is currently statistically tied for fifth place in Iowa, and in seventh place in New Hampshire and nationally. Rand Paul is one point behind Bush in the national average although he beat Bush by a point in the third most recent poll. Paul beat Bush by one point in the latest Iowa poll as well. Furthermore, with 1,012 precinct chairs in Iowa, and more than 500 organizers in New Hampshire he actually has the first tier ground game needed to win.
Frankly, it’s an outrage that Rand Paul is going to be kept from the FOX Business debate stage because the network wanted to fill out the undercard and sell ads. While the undercard debate should have been cancelled long ago, if it must go on it can survive with Fiorina, Santorum, and Huckabee. They don’t need to force Paul down in order to prop it up nor is it right to.
Hopefully FOX Business will come to their senses and realize how shameful their actions have been. Discriminating against candidates in order to split the debates and make more money would be a new low for the media. Rand Paul has a first tier campaigns and deserves to be on the main stage. He should have never been excluded in the first place and deserves an exception to the unfair criteria now.
This article was originally published at A Libertarian Future.