CNBC GOP debate: Participants must have 3 percent in polls

AP News
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Posted: Sep 30, 2015 5:19 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — CNBC announced debate criteria Wednesday that could narrow the crowded field of Republican presidential hopefuls.

According to the network, any candidate that does not score 1 percent in at least one approved poll will be excluded from the Oct. 28 pair of televised debates.

Candidates must poll at an average of least 3 percent to qualify for the 8 p.m. EDT prime time debate, the network said. Any hopeful who averages 2.5 percent will be rounded up to 3 percent and included, according to CNBC.

Candidates who qualify for the event but fall below that threshold will be invited to the undercard debate at 6 p.m. EDT.

The polls to be considered are those conducted by NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg, released between Sept. 17 and Oct. 21, CNBC said.

If the debate were held now, the candidates included in the prime time debate would be billionaire businessman Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former executive Carly Fiorina, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Qualifying for the undercard debate, if it were held now, would be Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, each of whom get 1 percent in at least one poll.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore would be kept offstage under the rules.

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AP News Survey Specialist Emily Swanson contributed to this report.

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