Both New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee have been demoted from the Fox Business-sponsored primetime GOP debate on Tuesday, November 10. They will now participate in the preceding undercard debate at 7 p.m., along with the other low-polling candidates who failed to qualify for the main stage debate at 9 p.m.
Although certainly a low-blow, this demotion should come as no surprise to the Christie and Huckabee campaigns. Last month, Fox Business announced that candidates would need an average of at least 2.5% in the four most recent national polls to make it on the main stage, and at least 1% to participate in the undercard debate.
Sliding poll numbers aside, Christie and Huckabee will at least get the chance to take the, albeit smaller, stage to redeem themselves. Former New York Gov. George Pataki and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham’s poll numbers were so abysmal that they no longer even qualify for the undercard debate. Christie and Huckabee will share the stage with the only two other qualifying candidates; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Christie and Huckabee’s exclusion from the main stage will make this Tuesday’s debate the smallest one of the GOP primary season so far.
We’ve listed the eight main stage candidates, as well as the poll averages that Fox Business Network used to determine their eligibility:
Donald Trump – 25.3%
Ben Carson – 24.5%
Jeb Bush – 5.5%
Marco Rubio -11.75%
Sen. Ted Cruz – 10%
Carly Fiorina – 3%
Gov. John Kasich – 2.8%
Sen. Rand Paul – 2.5%
Make sure to check back in on Wednesday for Black Enterprise’s 4th GOP Debate recap.