The Republican Clown car is overflowing. Currently 16 candidates are seeking the GOP nomination for president. That presents a problem though, because the Republican's official presidential gatekeeper, Fox News, says only 10 candidates can participate in next months debate. So, who is going to be invited to the debate, and who will be left out in the cold?
Fox says it will invite the 10 candidates with the highest average support in the last five national polls before the debate. NBC News has figured those averages, and the results are shown in the chart below. It looks like the cut-off line is about 2% support -- those with support above 2% will be invited, while those below 2% will be left out of the debate.
Currently, that means Christie (2.8%) and Perry (2.4%) will be invited to debate (along with Trump, Bush, Walker, Rubio, Huckabee, Paul, Carson, and Cruz). Six candidates will be banned from participating in the televised debate -- Santorum, Kasich, Jindal, Fiorina, Graham, and Gilmore.
It's not fair, because appearing in the nationally televised debate could give any candidate a significant bump in support. But it's the way Fox News wants to do it, and the Republican National Committee RNC) is bowing to their wish.
NOTE -- The five national polls averaged in the chart below are ABC/Washington Post, Fox, USA Today/Suffolk, Monmouth, and CNN.