There are 3 days until the first wild GOP debate -- here's who's in and who's out

Donald TrumpLM OteroRepublican presidential hopeful Donald Trump listens to a question at the World Trade International Bridge in Laredo, Texas

With just three days to go before the first Republican debate of the 2016 campaign, three Republican candidates are jostling for the final two spots on the prime time stage.

Fox News, which is hosting the first debate next Thursday, has limited the Republican participants in the prime-time debate to the 10 candidates polling best in an average of five recent national polls. The candidates who don’t make the prime-time debate stage will participate in a separate debate hours earlier.

Though it’s not clear which polls Fox will use — and there will likely be a couple more released before Thursday’s debate — the Real Clear Politics average of six recent polls paints a picture of which candidates are in, which are on the bubble, and which are probably out.

The latest average includes three polls that have been released in the past two days — one from NBC and The Wall Street Journal, one from Fox News, and one from Monmouth University.

Here’s a look.


  • Donald Trump, real-estate magnate: 22.5% average as of Monday
  • Jeb Bush, former Florida governor: 12.7%
  • Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor: 12%
  • Ted Cruz, US senator from Texas: 6.7
  • Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon: 6.2%
  • Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor: 6%
  • Marco Rubio, US senator from Florida: 5.2%
  • Rand Paul, US senator from Kentucky: 5%
Jeb Bush

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Maverick PAC conference July 17, 2015, in Las Vegas.


  • John Kasich, Ohio governor: 3.8%. Kasich has been surging since announcing his candidacy a little less than two weeks ago, and it looks like he’ll most likely be on stage for the prime-time debate.
  • Chris Christie, New Jersey governor: 3.2%. Christie currently ranks No. 10, giving him little room for error.
  • Rick Perry, former Texas governor: 2.2%. Despite weeks of directly engaging with Trump, Perry has moved little in national polls. Unless he leaps Christie and/or Kasich in a final batch of polling, he could be out of luck.
Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich gestures at a news conference in Washington July 7, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Thomson Reuters
Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich at a news conference.


  • Bobby Jindal, Louisiana governor: 1.5%.
  • Rick Santorum, former US senator from Pennsylvania: 1.5%.
  • Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett Packard CEO: 1.2%.
  • Lindsey Graham, US senator from South Carolina: 0.7%
  • George Pataki, former New York governor: N/A

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