The next Republican debate is coming up next Tuesday on December 15. The debate is airing on CNN and takes place at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. As of now, the criteria used by CNN for candidates to gain access to the primetime stage might deliver a lineup consisting of only seven candidates, with the rest appearing at the undercard debate earlier in the evening.

Report from the Columbus Dispatch:

We noted a couple of weeks ago that Ohio Gov. John Kasich appears a shoo-in to qualify for the main stage at the GOP presidential debate next week in Las Vegas.

But the interesting development taking shape is that Kasich might have to share the prime-time limelight with only six other candidates.

Easily qualifying because of their performance in national polls are businessman Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also is clinging to a prime-time slot. Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are qualifying for the main event only because they have relatively healthy poll numbers in New Hampshire.

On the bubble is Carly Fiorina, who just barely makes the threshold with her New Hampshire poll results. Her super-PAC will soon air ads to keep her from slipping back among five others confined to the undercard — which she escaped after the first GOP debate only because CNN changed the rules.

Although his performance in the last debate was widely criticized, presumably such national exposure can only help a candidate like Kasich, who ranks low in national polls and was the least-well-known of the Republican hopefuls in last week’s Quinnipiac Poll.

Having only seven candidates in primetime would be a serious boon for the upstarts like Rubio and Cruz who are seeking more screen time as they sit back in second, third, or fourth place depending on the poll. Furthermore, it may be beneficial to someone like Christie who is currently riding a wave following his last performance.

Of course, it could be very beneficial to Donald Trump if he’s able to capture the speaking time and avoid too much direct incoming fire from the other candidates.

More debate details later this week when CNN announces the full lineup.


  1. Actually, it’s seven or eight: Trump, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Christie, Bush, Kasich, and maybe Fiorina.

    It’s amazing that Christie crawled back up to the adult table. Also amazing that anybody think Kasich should be in there.

    As I noted elsewhere, being kicked to the kiddie table could actually be good for Rand Paul. Being a “big fish in a small pond” could give him the visibility he has been lacking. It worked for Carly and Chris.

    • You’re right, could be 7, not 6. Corrected. Likely 8 though if Fiorina gets in.

      Christie’s only there because CNN is including New Hampshire and Iowa polling as well. Christie doing well enough in NH.

      • Christie *can be* far more amusing than any other candidate. A quantifiable data point? As the terribly dreary campaign drags on, it could have some importance.

        This excerpt from his recent Jeffrey Goldberg interview in the Atlantic shows Christie’s entertainment chops:

        Goldberg: You seem to know more about foreign policy than you did when we had lunch in New York last year.

        Christie: I spend a lot of time on this.

        Goldberg: You’re past the maps—“This is Syria, this is Libya.”

        Christie: That was hard at the beginning because I was never very good at maps. I got a D in geography in college. It was really bad.

        Goldberg: You never even took geography.

        Christie: I did. I got a D.

        Goldberg: Fact check — you got an F.

        Christie: Why would I say it if it wasn’t true?

        Goldberg: There’s a little history in the current nominating process of people saying things that aren’t true.

        Christie: I took geography at the University of Delaware. Freshman year, first semester. Really. My father said, “You got a D in maps?” I said, “It wasn’t just maps. It was rock formations.” He was like, “Rock formations? You got a D in maps. This is not what I sent you to college for.”

        Goldberg: You know, if you’re commander in chief, they’ve got people for the maps. To help you with the maps.

        Christie: I straightened-up on geography.

        You know, I’ve had more organized therapy sessions than this interview.

        Goldberg: You’re in therapy?

        • Kasich is an idiot savant. Apparently he’s been a productive savant Gov for Ohio but he seems like an undisciplined idiot to the rest of us as a presidential candidate.

          • I don’t know why he has done poorly on national stage because he won places in Ohio that were heavily Democratic- he is all work and zero mouth…sad because as Ohio goes so does nation in every election…45% of Dems like him- he broadens the base

        • It’s a shame about Kasich because he could beat Hillary in the general- accomplished lots of good things for Ohioans- brought back Ford from Mexico- no Republican can win without Ohio- history proves me out!

    • Yes, because The Media is doing another black-out on Libertarian Rand Paul — like they did to his father Ron Paul in 2012.

      • There’s no blackout. Rand has good ideas, but he’s inept as a candidate. There’s nothing to report.

        He’s also a victim of timing. When people are scared of terrorism, it’s not popular to talk about individual rights.

        • “There’s no blackout” fails to mention him in the article even though as it sits now he qualifies for the debate*

        • Just because an idea is popular doesn’t mean it’s good. The bill of rights must be kept up. They have done so many false flag operations for the reason you stated.

  2. There are only 3 candidates that can defeat the preordained Queen of The Damned (oops, meant to type Queen of the Dems) — Hillary Clinton.

    1) Rand Paul — however, he is out due to MSM’s usual black-out on Libertarians. Good news is he’ll win his senate seat and keep fighting for our liberties in the Senate!

    2) Donald Trump — all he has to say is: “I whistled, and you came dancing at my wedding”…plus, so much more that will expose her as nothing but a crony politician.

    3) Rubio — he has fire and can make Hitlery look the old, decrepit, nasty socialist hag that she is — but, Rubio is out PERMANENTLY as a politician. Giving up on the Senate, and losing badly his Prez aspirations…he’ll most likely be eventually reduced to greeting fellow Latinos looking for cheap China-made crap at Wall-Mart….

    Bad news for the die-hard Ted Cruz supporters — Hillary’s dry delivery will edge out Cruz’s televangelist-like pontifications. If you want Hillary to win — then, vote for the other Latino, Cruz.

  3. wait, but I thought Trump wasn’t going to do the debate unless CNN paid him 5 million and they refused? Bluff called?

      • Well, to be fair, it was never an ultimatum. It was just a publicity stunt from the outset. He only said he “might” boycott. But the man got the headline by making an outrageous comment, so he succeeded.

        • Right! Trump shows his support for the troops and CNN fails to be charitable. A win for Trump and a blemish on CNN. Shame onCNN for making tons off Donald and not being patriotic!

          • With all due respect, nonsense!

            Yes, it’s true that they’re getting high ratings (big bucks), so they’re happy to show the debates. And yes, it would be nice if all corporations donated more to charity. And, yes, the troops (and 9/11 first responders) shouldn’t have to beg for care.

            But if Trump were sincere about it, he would have asked Fox, Fox Business, and CBS to do the same. He didn’t. He is only dumping on CNN, the first time, and now, again. Why only CNN??

            • CNN seems to unapologetically feed off his candidacy in their day-to-day programming and the way they promote the debates. They position themselves daily to always be talking about him because it drives ratings. The others do the same, but I don’t think to the extent that CNN likes to use his name.

            • I think Fox is in a tough spot, since Roger Ailes has slammed Trump, and Trump has slammed Megyn Kelly, repeatedly. So do they pander to their viewers, or stick by their own opinion?

  4. I think it’s ridiculous that most polls with Dr Paul getting poor numbers are taken to skew the results in the first place, the demographics are hardly spread out and the vast majority questioned are over 50 years old. That demographic typically votes for establishment candidates…. CNN and FOX, we’re paying attention to how you’re making debate decisions

    • That’s exactly what’s wrong with our political system today. Most of us only bother to talk to like-minded people.

      I remember someone who was totally aghast that Bush beat Kerry–“I don’t understand, EVERYBODY I know voted for Kerry!!” And so, conspiracy theories arise. If the vote for Kerry seemed unanimous to that person, there must have been fraud, right?

      Most people only watch the debate for Trump. Sorry.

  5. I wonder when the Republican party will realize they won’t win unless they nominate a candidate that can win independents. Rand Paul can win millennials, independents, African Americans, and anti-war/pro civil liberty democrats. He’s the only real choice in 2016. Anyone else will be handing the keys to the White House to Killary.

    • Rand Paul is the only sane choice!
      p.s. love the last wording…LOL (though, my preferred choice is Hitlery)….

    • Rand, or Revolution!
      There are no other options to save our Republic and keep it Free!

      This has been my motto since Ron Paul got cheated out of the Presidency both by the RNC and by MSM’s blatant black-out in 2012!

    • A Hillary presidency will be the End of our Free Nation — that’s a given, and must be stopped!

      why are the RNC not concerned with such an obvious Armageddon… but,
      instead are playing with fire and risking Trump winning the nomination,
      when clearly Rand Paul should be nominated?

      Could the answer be
      that the RNC is so OWNED by Establishment Republican Neocon HUMAN
      TRASH, that they don’t give a damn about who wins — as long as THEY
      stay in Power long enough to gather enough monetary benefits that will retire them as millionaires?!

  6. Frankly, the field should be down to Trump, Rubio and Cruz. Period. The rest are not going to be nominated. Not one of them.Poll numbers are actually lower for the last 4-5.

  7. They need to boot Jeb Bush. If ever there was a loser, he fits it. If Bush wins the nomination, I will not vote for him out of principle because we cannot have three alternating presidents from one family, it simply is not American just as the Democrats should not be clinging to Hillary even though she is all they have. However, one final comment: if people had watched the last Dem debate, they would have seen that Martin O’Malley actually won that debate but because it was a Saturday night and the Dems are boring, very few had the chance to see him shine.

  8. Why is Kasich on the main stage? He basically says nothing useful or relevant; he’s angry, rude and defensive; and he interrupts other candidates every chance he gets, claiming he doesn’t get enough speaking time. It’s probably because he polls at the 7-8% range in New Hampshire, but simply having a good ground game in one early primary state (and nowhere else) shouldn’t give him the right to stand alongside the ranks of nationally known candidates like Trump, Cruz, Carson and Rubio.

    • That’s nonsense. Of all the candidates on that stage, he’s the only one interested in actually governing as he has proven in one of the most important swing states on the map. Donald Trump if by some completely implausible, awful tragedy wouldn’t have the first clue about what to do in the oval office. It’s laughable that some in the GOP look at him and think, “Yeah that guy could govern a 365 million person strong, multicultural democracy. For sure.”

  9. The low poll numbers for Rand Paul prove that rational principals, civil liberties, sound money, a balanced budget, limited government, and the US CONSTITUTION are all irrelevant in today’s society. No one else fights more for non-violent black prisoners, the impoverished Detroit business owners, property rights of individuals, and the medical marijuana patients. What a shame for our country.

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