Let Them All Debate

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Jim Gilmore has not registered a blip on the screen. He polls at 0%.

Scott Walker has exited the stage.

Rick Perry has exited the stage.

In the Real Clear Politics average, there are now 14 candidates who register in the polls in terms of the Republican nomination.

It is time to put them all on stage.

Unfortunately, the CNBC-GOP debate has further shrunk the stage using a 3% metric, instead of a top ten metric. But CNBC is going to round up anyone at 2.5% or higher. That is entirely artificial and designed to make CNBC look good by not precluding from the stage Huckabee, Christie, and Paul who’ve been at the other debates.

At this point, we have 14 candidates who are being detected with support in the polls. It is time to put them all on the stage together. We deserve to hear from Mike Huckabee. We deserve to hear from Chris Christie. We deserve to hear from [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] — all of whom are now below 3% in the averages.

We also deserve to hear from the sitting Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal. We deserve to hear from [mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ], who actually makes some good points against Obama on his Syrian mess.

The RNC and CNBC, at this point with candidates already dropping out, should be opening up the stage to the fourteen candidates who the polling averages detect.

We do not have a national primary. Further constriction of the field based on national polling, which is more based on name identification and, in most cases, media coverage rather than work in the early states, instead of using polling averages of the early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina at this point are hurting voters from hearing from a variety of candidates.

As we have seen with the first two debates, the “kids table” debate is really not a fair shake at legitimacy or establishing themselves.

We are talking about governors and senators, not Deez Nuts. It is time we have a full and open debate. Polling right now corresponds a great deal to the amount of time the media has overaged the candidates, which means the RNC is letting the media pick our candidates. The best way to stop this is to put them all on stage now that the field has culled itself some.

Otherwise, I think the RNC needs to change the rules for 2020 and insist on a national primary schedule with all states going on the same day. It is becoming untenable that we’re going to have a 3% national polling standard for getting on stage in October in order to shrink the numbers on stage, but then we are going to have primaries and caucuses spread over multiple months next year.

When we crossed the threshold of 15 candidates, going with the top ten forced decisions on candidates and shrunk the field. It forced two of the most successful governors in America to withdraw from the race before October. Now it is just getting silly and doing all the voters a disservice.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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