Rand Paul Makes the Cut for CNN’s Prime Time GOP Debate

AP Photo/John Raoux
AP Photo/John Raoux

CNN has announced that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will be able to make the Dec. 15 prime time presidential debate.

For the past week, pundits have been predicting that Paul would be cut from the debate because of poor polls. CNN’s debate rules require candidates to have an average of at least 3.5 percent in national polls or 4 percent in either Iowa or New Hampshire.

According to The Hill:

Paul had risked being demoted to the undercard due to lackluster polling. The senator most recently scored 3 percent support among likely Iowa caucus-goers in a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg News poll released Saturday and 5 percent in a Fox News poll released early Sunday.

“In the light of new polling released this morning and in the spirit of being as inclusive as possible, CNN has decided to include Sen. Rand Paul in the prime time debate,” the spokesman said in a statement to The Hill.

“Senator Paul is doing well in the early states and we are glad he’ll be able to present his vision for America from the main stage at CNN’s debate,” Paul spokesman Sergio Gor said in a statement to The Hill on Sunday.

The candidates who will appear on the main stage at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday are: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina.

The less-watched undercard debate will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday and will include Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC),  former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former New York Governor George Pataki, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.


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