Fox News ended the speculation tonight, naming the 10 candidates selected for Thursday night’s highly anticipated Republican presidential debate—not only a major event for GOP candidates, but for Fox News Channel, which some believe, with Donald Trump at center stage, may deliver higher than expected ratings for an early-season debate in the dead of summer.
Here’s how the network crunched the numbers.
Based on an average of the five most recent national polls, the candidates invited to be on stage for the 9 p.m. ET debate will be: Trump (23.4 percent), Jeb Bush (12.0 percent), Scott Walker (10.2 percent), Mike Huckabee (6.6 percent), Ben Carson (5.8 percent), Ted Cruz (5.4 percent), Marco Rubio (5.4 percent), Rand Paul (4.8 percent), Chris Christie (3.4 percent) and John Kasich (3.2 percent).
The five polls the network used were those from Bloomberg, CBS News, Fox News, Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University. According to the Fox News Decision Desk, the criteria were:
* They are the five most recent national polls from non-partisan, nationally-recognized organizations using standard methodological techniques. Recency was determined by actual interview dates (not release date).
* They used live interviewers, random digit-dial sampling techniques and included both landlines and cellphones. [No online or automated (IVR) polls were used.]
* Their GOP primary vote question mirrored the ballot by reading all candidate names in random order and without honorifics.
Because of these criteria, the highly-respected NBC/WSJ poll, which is the fifth most recent poll, was not included. The network said it was “only because it did not meet our criterion that the poll read the names of each Republican candidate in the vote question.”
Candidates selected for the 5 p.m. ET forum, based on all the above criteria, were Rick Perry (1.8 percent), Rick Santorum (1.4 percent), Bobby Jindal (1.4 percent), Carly Fiorina (1.3 percent), Lindsey Graham (0.7 percent), George Pataki (0.6 percent) and Jim Gilmore (0.2 percent).