The four candidates who participated in the last CNN undercard debate–Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former New York Governor George Pataki, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)–all received 0% in last month’s Breitbart Primary.
CNBC, which will host the next GOP debate on October 28 in Colorado, decided to preserve the undercard or “happy hour” debate. The network announced on Wednesday that a candidate must have at least 1% in any national poll conducted by NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, or Bloomberg released between September 17, 2015 and October 21, 2015 to participate in the lower-tier debate, and there is no guarantee that all four candidates will qualify for October’s undercard event. To be eligible for the primetime debate, candidates must have an average of 3% to get into the main event.
Jindal (765 votes), Santorum (498 votes), Pataki (270 votes), and Graham (212) combined to receive just 1,654 first-place votes out of 171,862 votes in September’s Breitbart Primary. Ohio Governor John Kasich (1%), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (0%), former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (1%), and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (0%) are four candidates who were in CNN’s main debate that failed to get 3% in last month’s Breitbart Primary.
Jindal has been trying to gain traction by attacking frontrunner Donald Trump, while Santorum, who is the only candidate with an “A” grade from Numbers USA, has been speaking on the stump about the need for a pro-worker immigration policy in which legal immigration levels are reduced to give American workers better job prospects. Graham has relentlessly been touting his national security credentials, while Pataki has been talking up his executive skills. But all of their candidacies have failed to gain traction to date.
CNBC’s undercard debate may be the last “happy hour” debate of this election cycle, as Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee’s chief strategist, said on CNN after the last debate that he doubted that there will more undercard debates. And last month’s Breitbart Primary results show that Breitbart Primary voters, along with much of the GOP primary electorate, may not mind if there were no more undercard or “happy hour debates” as the GOP 2016 presidential field winnows.