CNN on Sunday announced the lineup for the fifth Republican debate, with some notable shakeups.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will again be on the main debate stage, a result of a mini-surge of support in New Hampshire, the first-primary state. Christie polled too low to qualify for the main stage in the previous Republican debate.
Here are the candidates who qualified for the main stage: real-estate mogul Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), and former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) did not meet the criteria to qualify for the main debate — average 3.5% support nationally or 4% support in Iowa or New Hampshire. But they qualified for an earlier “undercard” debate.
Paul’s campaign appeared to anticipate the possibility of being left out of Tuesday’s debate, announcing on Saturday that it had made its case to Republican National Committee and CNN for why the senator deserved to be on the stage despite his sagging support in the polls. But Paul ended up making the main stage, after all.
“The campaign is not asking for special treatment, but simply fairness in criteria, whether it be time frames, allowances for poll variances, or rounding, all of which have been applied to other debates,” Paul’s campaign said Saturday.
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