It appears that Rand Paul may have climbed his way back onto the main stage for tomorrow’s debate in South Carolina. Fox has set a 5 PM cut-off for new polls that can count toward qualification and the Paul team is confident they will make it. If Paul does qualify it will vindicate his decision to skip the previous debate where he had been excluded from the main stage.
Politico is reporting:
Fox News has set the same criteria for qualification as last week’s Fox Business News debate: the top six candidates in national polls, plus any other candidates in the top five in either Iowa or New Hampshire. Those rankings are determined by averages of the five most recent national polls conducted by live telephone interviewers.
According to POLITICO’s calculations, while Paul is outside the top six nationally, the Kentucky senator is currently tied for fifth place in Iowa with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at an average of 4 percent. Moreover, if another Iowa survey is released prior to Fox’s 5 p.m. deadline, the oldest poll that would drop out of the average is a Loras College poll that has Bush at 6 percent and Paul at 3 percent — making it even easier for Paul stay tied with Bush or leap-frog him.
The rest of the main debate stage is expected to include the seven candidates who also made it last time: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich.
Fox is expected to announce the official lineup sometime tonight or tomorrow.