*Update: CNN has told Talking Points Memo that Rick Perry is invited to its debate, saying that “he has met the criteria.” An email from TPM asking which criteria he meets has not been answered.Update #2: CNN says Perry did in fact make the cut. Barely. TPM has the full explanation from CNN’s Sam Feist, but the short version is they seriously parsed a Jan 9 CBS poll in Perry’s favour.
Despite his fifth place showing in Iowa and his last place showing in New Hampshire (where he pulled in less than one per cent of the vote) Rick Perry is determined to compete in the South Carolina primary later this month.
Alas, for him, he currently doesn’t qualify to participate in CNN’s January 19 debate in Charleston, two days before the primary.
This could change, but at the moment, he hasn’t done enough to earn a spot.
CNN announced Tuesday that a candidate will only receive an invite for the debate if he matches at least one of the four criteria:
- A person must place in one of the top four slots in the final results of the Iowa Caucus.
- A person must place in one of the top four slots in the final results of the New Hampshire Primary.
- A person must receive an average of at least 7.00 per cent in at least three national polls released between January 1 and January 18 that were conducted by major polling organisations.
- A person must receive an average of at least 7.00 per cent in at least three South Carolina polls released between January 1 and January 18 that were conducted by major polling organisations.
Perry placed fifth in Iowa and sixth in New Hampshire, so he doesn’t meet the first two criteria.
In all the South Carolina and national polls released between January 1 and today, Perry has hit the 7% mark only once, in a Reuters poll. His average, then, of any three polls does not reach 7% and he does not meet the third and fourth criteria.
Despite the numbers, Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan told National Review Online in an email, “Yes, he is participating.”
Presumably Sullivan is hoping that Perry will qualify by the 18th. There’s still one week for new polls to put Perry in the line-up. He needs two national polls at 7% or higher and three South Carolina polls at 7% or higher.
Perry’s performance on the campaign trail in the next couple days may change his poll numbers, which have mostly stuck around 5 and 6%. In the candidate’s own words, “South Carolina is who picks presidents.”