EXCLUSIVE: Margin of Error in National Polls Impacts GOP Top Ten Ranking

Fox News determined the top ten GOP presidential candidates that will take to the main debate stage on Thursday based on the average of five national polls, but a veteran Republican strategist exclusively told Breitbart News that the margin of error within each poll could impact the ranking, especially for the last few slots in the top ten.

“The margin of error on most of these polls are either three or four percent, so someone at one could really be at four or five … or even below zero,” explained Jim Innocenzi, a veteran Republican strategist who spoke exclusively with Breitbart News on this issue. “When you get down to the smaller numbers, there is a huge variance from one versus another.”

Innocenzi explained the impact from the margin of error is really more critical to the candidates at the bottom of the top ten, not necessarily someone who is leading the pack of the GOP field overwhelmingly, such as GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, who had a 14 point lead over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Bush came in second, with 12 percent in a recent Monmouth poll.

“It’s fairly valid where Trump is versus where Christie is,” Innocenzi told Breitbart News.

“When you get to the seven, eight, ninth, and tenth candidates versus someone who is eleven or twelve, it could all be the same,” he explained.

As to whether or not Fox News should have announced the five polls that will be used to make the final top ten selections, Innocenzi said, “I don’t think it matters. To be honest, I think that it doesn’t matter what five polls they pick. It’s going to be arbitrary.”

“At some point you have to draw the line, so they’re going to pick the five that are going to be the most valid,” he said, adding that he believes Fox News is going to be as fair as it can in determining the top ten GOP candidates.

Innocenzi has been in the business for about 35 years running political advertisement campaigns at the local, state and federal levels. “I’ve got people elected,” Innocenzi said of his veteran status in the world of politics.

On the topic of campaign advertisements, he said the candidates are “renting votes to be on TV right now,” suggesting that it “may not be a great measure of who is real and who isn’t real” in terms of whether or not voters would actually support a particular candidate.

Fox News and Facebook will host the first GOP presidential primary debate Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio. The top ten candidates – determined by Fox News as previously mentioned – will take the debate stage at 9 PM eastern. The other seven GOP presidential candidates who do not make the top ten will participate in a candidate forum, which begins at 5 PM eastern that same day.

“The 9 PM debate is going to be all about Donald Trump,” Innocenzi said. He referenced the candidate forum held Monday by the New Hampshire Union Leader and C-SPAN not getting that much attention across news and social media platforms. Trump was not in attendance to that forum.

“I’m sure people are going to watch because of Donald Trump,” he added.

Innocenzi explained that he doesn’t believe many voters will tune in to watch the debate on a Thursday night in August, saying the only people who will watch are political consultants, political junkies, or press folks.

“The rest of America is on vacation,” he added.

“A lot of stuff is going to happen between this debate and the next debate,” Innocenzi concluded, adding that to “some extent, being in the smaller debate may actually be beneficial to somebody where they have a chance to break through.”


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