Fox News Opens Early GOP Debate to More Candidates

By Mark Joyella 

Fox News will open its upcoming Republican debate–the second-tier debate at 5 p.m.–to additional candidates, cutting a requirement that candidates reach at least 1 percent in national polls.

“Due to the overwhelming interest in the FOX News Facebook Debate Event Night on August 6th and in a concerted effort to include and accommodate the now 16 Republican candidate field — the largest in modern political history — FOX News is expanding participation in the 5 PM/ET debate to all declared candidates whose names are consistently being offered to respondents in major national polls, as recognized by Fox News,” said Michael Clemente, Fox News executive vice president, in a statement.

According to Politico, “the change amounts to an insurance policy for candidates who were in danger of being disqualified from the vital first debate based on low polls–Carly Fiorina, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and Sen. Lindsey Graham.”