Latest reports have it that CNN, the organizer of the GOP debate slated for 15th December 2015 has adjusted it’s criteria for the debate to allow Rand Paul partake. The main stage in Las Vegas on Tuesday will feature the Kentucky senator.
Other GOP candidates expected to debate on the main stage include Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie.
Top ranked in the national polls Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush qualified, as a result of their standing result in the national polls. Kasich, Fiorina and Christie made the cut because of their poll numbers in New Hampshire.
Candidates qualified if they achieved an average of 3.5 percent in national polls conducted since late October — or 4 percent in either Iowa or New Hampshire.
The undercard debate will consist of lower-polling candidates Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Rick Santorum. Of the lower-polling candidates, only Huckabee has debated on the main stage.
According to Politico, Paul was at 2.8 percent nationally, 3.7 percent in Iowa and 3 percent in New Hampshire. Even the Fox News poll could only bump Paul to 3.7 percent, which was below the set threshold of 4 percent.
CNN was supposed to use the average of the polls before October 29 but changed the criteria to help a candidate again, after previously helping Fiorina onto the main stage debate in September.
The Paul campaign had been lobbying the network publicly over the weekend to let the senator into the debate.
“In the light of new polling released this morning and in the spirit of being as inclusive as possible, CNN has decided to include Senator Rand Paul in the prime time debate.” a CNN spokesperson said.
NBC News and the Wall Street Journal also released a new national survey, tesing the top 10 out of 14 candidates. The results reveal Trump is leading the field. However, it wasn’t part of CNN’s calculations.