Christie, Huckabee Demoted to Kiddie Table for Next GOP Debate

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Fri, Nov 6 - 3:00 am EST | 3 days ago by
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Two Republican candidates who undoubtedly expected to appear on the prime-time Fox News debate that will be held on November 10th have been left utterly embarrassed. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will duke it out during the 7:00 pm ET debate, a whole two hours before the prime-time 9:00 pm ET debate will feature the eight most popular candidates.

Chris Christie
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The gut punch, due to a change in the criteria for selecting debate participants, was delivered via a Fox Business Network announcement on Thursday to Christie and Huckabee, as well as to the floundering campaigns of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Former New York Governor George Pataki, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore did not manage to qualify for either under the new rules.

Eight candidates managed to score 2.5 percent or higher on an average of the four most recent national polls, qualifying them for the prime-time debate: real estate mogul Donald Trump; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Florida Senator Marco Rubio; Texas Senator Ted Cruz; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; Ohio Governor John Kasich; and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

While Huckabee’s campaign has yet to weigh in on the slight, Christie took to Twitter to dismiss the news as nothing significant. “It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues,” the New Jersey governor said.

Carson and Trump remain the top two contenders going into next week’s debate, with both candidates appearing at the top of the most recent national polls. Rubio and Cruz have not managed to reach the same level of support as the frontrunners, but they have managed to keep the rest of their competition far behind. The rest of the main-stage contenders barely qualified for the prime-time debate, polling in the low single digits on the latest Fox News poll.

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