CNN Names Candidates for Reagan Library Debate

By Mark Joyella 

Carly Fiorina jumps to the main event, as 11 candidates have qualified for CNN’s prime time Republican presidential debate, with five candidates landing in the second-tier event earlier in the evening.

Thursday marked the close of eligibility for the CNN debate, which happens next week at the Reagan Library. CNN says candidates were chosen based on 14 polls. The top ten candidates–and Fiorina, whose average support puts her within the top ten in polls conducted since the Fox News debate August 6–will participate in the 8 p.m. ET debate.

Here’s how the prime time candidates will appear on stage:


The post-debate polls were also used to determine the order that the candidates would appear on stage. Trump will anchor the center of the stage for the 8:00 p.m. debate, flanked by Carson to his right and Bush to his left. Walker, Fiorina, Kasich and Christie, in that order, will stand to Bush’s left, while Cruz, Rubio, Huckabee and Paul will appear to Carson’s right.

The remaining five candidates–George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham–will appear in a debate at 6 p.m. ET.

Rules for participation in the CNN debate were amended to give weight to polls taken after the Fox News debate, since Fiorina was widely viewed as getting a major boost from her performance in the FNC early debate.