Due in no small part to the popular demand, CNN has announced that it is changing the criteria for choosing the presidential candidates who will participate in the upcoming Republican debate – and Carly Fiorina, with her recent surge, is in.
Originally, the criteria included placing a lot of weight on the polls taken prior to the first Fox New GOP debate, which were of course the very polls that relegated Fiorina to the pre-debate forum for candidates who didn’t make the top ten.
Carly took every advantage opportunity, claiming the consensus victory not only for the pre-debate forum, but for the whole night. Owing partly to her prepared and professional performance, she has seen her polling numbers skyrocket, first in New Hampshire and Iowa, then today nationally.
Many argued that she had earned a place at the big kids table for CNN’s debate on September 16th, but until the announcement today, it was unclear whether her post-Fox New debate poll numbers would be enough to cancel out the lower numbers from earlier in the campaign.
CNN’s new criteria, however, states that any candidate who ranks in the top ten between August 6 and September 10 will be included in the primetime debate.
The original criteria will also qualify candidates for participation. It is possible that more than 10 candidates will be on the stage, as anyone who scored in the top ten averages of all approved national polls between July 16 and September 10 will also be invited.
Though it is up to each network to include candidates according to the criteria of their choosing, Fiorina supporters and others were understandably frustrated by her potential exclusion. The original standards stacked the cards against candidates who had not had a chance to prove themselves before a national audience.
The voices against unfairness can be satisfied that they were heard in this case. Now it is up to Carly to show what she can do among the big guns.