CNN Announces Criteria For Next GOP Presidential Debate


Republican presidential hopefuls have three ways to make the main stage in CNN’s next 2016 primary debate, the network announced Thursday.

Candidates need to meet at least one of CNN’s three criteria in polls taken between October 29 and December 13 to make the December 15 debate: be polling at an average 3.5 percent nationally, at least 4 percent in Iowa, or at least 4 percent in New Hampshire.

To qualify for the network’s 5 p.m. undercard event, candidates must hit at least 1 percent in four separate national, Iowa, or New Hampshire polls that are “recognized” by CNN, the network said.

Based on the criteria, CNN said real estate mogul Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would currently qualify for the 9 p.m. event.

The debate, the fifth of the election cycle, is set to be held at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

CNN’s Dana Bash and conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt are scheduled to host the event, with Wolf Blitzer moderating.

Read CNN’s full criteria here.