I support having the top ten Republicans on the main debate stage. I think if you put all of them on the stage — the 16 to 2000 declared candidates — you learn nothing and accomplish nothing.
Fox News (one of my employers) and the RNC deciding to use a polling average and put the top ten in the main event is not a bad idea. It takes subjectivity from the network out and provides a set standard. I do not have a problem with it and when briefed on it a while back supported it. I still do.
But I think the polling standard can and is in danger of getting hijacked by crap polls.
The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Rick Perry essentially tied for tenth place, with Perry at the bottom. But the poll is of less than 300 people and has a margin of error of over 6%.
Perry is the longest serving Governor in the state with the most Republican delegates at stake, during his tenure Texas created over 1.5 million jobs, and is one of only two veterans of the military in the race.
Fox is going to do a more legitimate poll and others are coming out. But polls with margins of error over 6%, put into the polling averages, can throw a monkey wrench in things. Fox News set out to deliver the debate people wanted after the miserable debates of 2012. It sought to rectify the cattle call style low information debates of the last cycle.
An irony is that one of the most complained about debates in 2012 Republican Primary was the NBC debate and now an NBC poll could mess up Fox’s good intentions.