Missed the cut…..

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are the first casualties of the winnowing GOP debate field, as Fox Business Network announced Thursday night that they both officially missed the cut for next week’s contest.

Christie and Huckabee are the only two candidates who had previously appeared on the main debate stage to get cut by the network, which set a threshold of 2.5 percent in four major polls for the top contest. They’ll instead participate in the undercard debate, a demotion that could serve as a major blow for his fledgling campaign.

The writing was on the wall for Christie by Wednesday night, when he received 2 percent of the vote in Fox News’ latest poll. Poll watchers noted that with Christie’s stagnant numbers in a handful of recent surveys, including the Fox one, made it increasingly unlikely that he’d be able to stay above that threshold.

Because Fox Business did not release which polls it would use in advance, Christie’s fate remained in limbo until the network announced the lineup on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

Huckabee, who received 4 percent support in the Fox News poll, had been considered in a safer spot by most pundits. He is a former Fox News host who won the 2008 GOP Iowa caucus and finished second behind Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Both Christie and Huckabee barely missed the mark, finishing with 2.25 percent in the four polls considered–those conducted by Fox News, NBC/Wall Street Journal, Quinnipiac University, and Investors Business Daily. If either candidate scored just one percentage point higher in any of those polls, they would have made it onto the debate stage.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) just made it in with an average of exactly 2.5 percent.
Just an hour before Fox Business was scheduled to announce the lineup, Christie’s campaign announced that he would be on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” presumably to push back against the fears that the debate snub would hurt his presidential bid.

Despite missing out on the main stage, Christie had received praise in recent weeks for his late October debate performance as well as deeply personal remarks on drug addiction captured by The Huffington Post.

Christie tweeted just moments after the announcement with a reference to that Huffington Post video.