All Of a Sudden People Agree With FNC’s Debate Rules

By Brian Flood 

Limiting Thursday’s Fox News Channel Republican debate to the Top 10 candidates has drawn criticism from a variety of media outlets. However, last night’s Voters First Presidential Forum in New Hampshire provided a glimpse into what it would be like with more than 10 candidates on one stage.

Fourteen GOP candidates took the stage in New Hampshire, and that didn’t even include Donald Trump who will be front and center on Thursday. Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post said the “two-hour session felt like a round of political speed dating that came three days before the first televised debate.” Another Washington Post story suggests that FNC “was probably smart to cap its debate at 10 candidates.”

We’ve covered the hand wringing for months now, but it is really hard to have meaningful exchanges when there are too many people on stage. Fourteen candidates appeared at last night’s event, sponsored by early state media outlets and broadcast on C-SPAN. Every declared GOP candidate was invited (except Jim Gilmore). The result was a sort of boring muddle.

A new Bloomberg poll of 500 registered voters who consider themselves Republicans were asked if they agree with the decision to limit the debate to the ten candidates with the highest polling numbers. An overwhelming 71 percent agree with the FNC decision. Check it out for yourself:

debate chart