Fox News and CNN, which will broadcast the first two GOP presidential debates, have decided on a system for excluding candidates that could result in Donald Trump participating in those debates but current or former senators and governors being excluded.
Nice going, guys.
I certainly agree having a debate with 16 candidates is simply unwatchable, and there is no easy way to make the early debates fair to the candidates while at the same time more watchable and informative for viewers. But Fox and CNN have both dropped the ball as they try to avoid making tough decisions.
At the first debate on Aug. 6 in Cleveland, Fox will limit participation to candidates who “place in the top 10 in an average of the five most recent national polls in the run-up to the event.” Fox apparently will “provide additional coverage and air time on Aug. 6 to the candidates who do not place in the top 10.”
CNN has chosen a similar-but-not-identical approach that is also based on polling leading up to the debate. It will hold two separate forums, one for the top-tier hopefuls and a second for the also-rans.