The first Republican presidential debate of 2015 comes to us via Fox News Channel, on Aug. 6.
The field is crowded!
Fox has decided to minimize our confusion by limiting the number of participants. Only the top 10 candidates will be allowed to take the stage.
The cutoff point was decided so that these debates would not become just a cloud of confusion to voters.
We can expect to see 15 to 20 declared candidates for president eventually. Fox indicated it would give “additional coverage and airtime” for those who are excluded. At least they will be able to be seen during the day of the debate, but Fox didn’t say how that would work.
Not all of the possible candidate could be called “serious.” They may all want the job, but some may just be using their candidacy to raise their profile at someone else’s expense.
There are criteria to distinguish a “serious candidate” from those who have no chance at all. The criteria include averaging five of the most recent national polls. That will show us the top 10. There could also be a tie, which means there could be more than 10.
Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, said, “We support and respect the decision Fox has made.” Priebus says they want to avoid the large number of debating candidates that we saw in 2012. He says the party is OK with limits that Fox suggested, to prevent turning the debates into a circus.
In 2012, up to nine candidates participated in some of the GOP debates.
The next Fox debate, moderated by Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly, is to be held in Cleveland, Ohio.
Those who place 11 and after may not be happy GOP campers!