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2016 DEBATE WATCH: Trump Is In, Santorum, Fiorina Out

Editor’s note: "2016 Debate Watch" is a running, bi-weekly series.

The recently-released and contentious Fox News debate rules have some Republican candidates seething. Put simply, the network has decided that, for the sake of fairness and viewers' sanity, only candidates in 10th place or higher (determined, as it happens, by calculating the average of the "five most recent national polls") will be invited to attend and participate.


If, however, the debate was this evening, who would be invited—and who would be stuck watching the festivities at home or on the campaign bus? Today, we begin a brand new, running series addressing this question, as we await the much-anticipated Fox News debate on August 6.

According to the clearly defined parameters stipulated by the Fox News Channel, the following candidates would qualify as participants:

(1) Bush: 11.6 percent

(2) Walker: 10.8 percent

(3) Rubio: 10 percent

(4) Carson: 9 percent

(5) Huckabee: 9 percent

(6) Paul: 8.4 percent

(7) Cruz: 7.2 percent

(8) Christie: 5 percent

(9) Trump: 4 percent

(10) Perry: 2.8 percent

So Donald Trump is in, and Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, and everyone else is out.

Are voters comfortable with that setup?

The five most recent national surveys used to calculated these averages can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

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