Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) presidential campaign is making an 11th-hour play to be included in Thursday’s main-stage Republican debate.
Though Paul did not make the primetime Fox Business debate, a new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll of Iowa released Wednesday found Paul in fifth place in the Hawkeye State.
As first reported by Politico, Paul’s support in Wednesday’s survey would have bumped the senator up to fifth place in an average of recent polls there.
That would have qualified him to participate in the primetime debate, according to Fox Business’ debate rules. But Fox Business said only polls released through 6 p.m. ET on Monday could be considered toward qualification.
The senator’s campaign is attempting to pressure the network to consider Wednesday’s poll in the average.
“We are telling them today that they should be counted,” Paul said of Fox Business during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I think that the polling shows that we should be [included],” he added. “We are clearly ahead of of some of the candidates.”
Paul did qualify for a spot on the earlier debate stage, but the senator said Monday that he would not participate in any debate that did not recognise his campaign’s “top-tier” status.
The Bloomberg Politics/Register poll is known among many polling analysts for being one of the most reliable polls in the country. Wednesday’s poll was conducted within the time frame that would theoretically have allowed it to count in the average toward debate qualification, had it been released before 6 p.m. ET on Monday.
Other networks have made accommodations for candidates in past debates. CNN allowed a last minute Fox News poll to influence the network’s decision to permit Paul to be onstage for the previous GOP debate. The network also amended the criteria for a debate last year that allowed former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina to participate on the main stage.
Fox Business seemed to not be budging.
“We announced the criteria in December and clearly stated the polling needed to be conducted and released by Monday, January 11th at 6pm/ET,” a Fox Business spokesperson told Business Insider in an email.
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