We’re starting to get some post-debate polls after CNBC’s John Harwood & Co. embarrassed themselves, and we’re already only a week away from the next GOP debate. Fox Business Channel will host on Tuesday, November 10, and I imagine Neil Cavuto and the other moderators will have a much different game plan than “let’s have six moderators and make us the story.”
Now the criteria for the afternoon and primetime debates are as such. If you gets at least 1% in any of the four most recent national GOP polls done by November 4, you’re in the afternoon debate. If you’re averaging at least 2.5% in those four national polls, you’re in prime time.
Is this the way it should be? Should the early-state polls carry more weight? Bobby Jindal is polling above Jeb Bush in Iowa. John Kasich may not make the primetime threshold but he’s fourth in New Hampshire.
There’s still two national polls that are supposed to be done tomorrow, but if they took the four most recent as of today, the primetime participants would be (in order) Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul. The afternoon debate would feature John Kasich, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum. George Pataki and Jim Gilmore (who still insists he’s a candidate) would be out.
What if we average the national polling with the Iowa and New Hampshire polling? I took the last four national polls, the last two Iowa polls, and the last two New Hampshire polls.
1. Donald Trump – 25.6%
2. Ben Carson – 22.1%
3. Marco Rubio – 9.5%
4. Ted Cruz – 8.5%
5. Jeb Bush – 6.7%
6. Carly Fiorina – 5.1%
7. John Kasich – 3.6%
8. Rand Paul – 3%
9. Mike Huckabee – 2.6%
10. Chris Christie – 2.4%
11. Bobby Jindal – 1.4%
Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham are less than 1%. George Pataki and Jim Gilmore are 0%.
The only one it would really make a difference for is Kasich. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad for him if he wound up in the afternoon debate. He and Christie could knock around the other three and show why they should be back in primetime for the next one.
There’s an interesting trend in Florida. There have been three polls done in the past month, and in each one, Rubio goes up a point, but Bush goes down. He’s only at 7% in the Bay News 9 poll. He’s in fifth place, behind Ted Cruz. Trump and Carson are still the top two, but now Rubio’s only one point behind Carson. One result that has to have Rubio and Bush upset: the hypothetical head-to-head matchups had Trump doing the best against Hillary.