For better or worse…..
Fox Business Network on Thursday announced the candidate line-up for the Nov. 10 Republican presidential debates.
The candidates qualifying for the prime-time, 9 p.m. ET debate are:
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; former HP CEO Carly Fiorina; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
The candidates qualifying for the earlier, 7 p.m. ET debate are:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
The criteria were different than for past debates. In a change, Christie and Huckabee did not qualify for the prime-time event, while former New York Gov. George Pataki and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham did not qualify for either; neither did ex-Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Christie brushed it off on Twitter, saying: “It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues.”
To qualify for the prime-time debate, a candidate had to score 2.5 percent or higher in an average of the four most recent national polls. Candidates scoring under that had to receive at least 1 percent support in at least one of the four most recent national polls to qualify for the 7 p.m. debate.
The four polls used were conducted by: Fox News; Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP; Quinnipiac University; and The Wall Street Journal/NBC News.
The candidates head into the next debate at a time when Trump and Carson are battling for the lead in most polls.
While several recent state and national surveys have shown Carson climbing into the top spot, the latest Fox News poll released Wednesday showed Trump with the edge, 26-23 percent.
The next tier in that poll included just two candidates: Cruz and Rubio, with 11 percent each.
Bush, Huckabee, Kasich and Paul registered with 4 percent.
Pataki called debate organizers’ reliance on national polls “a disservice to voters everywhere” and “a clear boost to the worship of celebrity over accomplishment and ideas.”