NH Newspaper: Networks Have ‘Interfered’ With Voters

By Mark Joyella 

The publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Joseph McQuaid, has accused ABC and the other television networks of improperly using polling data to determine who appears in debates–including Saturday’s Republican presidential debate on ABC.

“One reason this newspaper was booted from co-hosting Saturday night’s GOP debate is that ABC-TV knows we would insist on inviting all the serious candidates, as we did last August at our Voters First Forum,” McQuaid writes in an editorial published today. “The networks and both national parties have interfered with the role of New Hampshire voters by relying on national popularity polls to favor or dismiss candidates before we get to vote. Candidate Carly Fiorina should be included tomorrow night. And WMUR-TV dishonors our state’s political traditions if she is not.”

Under ABC’s debate criteria, which for the first time does not include an undercard debate, Fiorina’s performance in recent polls did not qualify her for Saturday’s debate–despite pressure applied on ABC by the Fiorina campaign and supporters.