2016 Republican presidential candidates will debate for the first time August 6 – but not all the candidates are likely to participate.
But a month later, most will, but in two stages.
Details for the year’s first two Republican presidential debates were released Wednesday, and each will have a slightly different threshold for qualifying. At least 18 prominent Republicans may formally seek the party’s presidential nomination, and the party has struggled to figure out who to include. Republicans plan a series of monthly debates this year.
Under rules announced by Fox, which along with Facebook is presenting the first debate, at least 10 Republicans can participate in the forum. The debate will be held August 6 from 9 to 11 p.m. in Cleveland.
The candidates, according to Michael Clemente, Fox vice president news and editorial, “must place in the top 10 of an average of the five most recent national polls, as recognized by Fox News leading up to August 4th at 5 PM/ET. Such polling must be conducted by major, nationally recognized organizations that use standard methodological techniques.”
The network said the Fox News Channel “will provide additional coverage and air time on August 6th to those candidates who do not place in the top 10.”
The current field has several prominent Republicans currently polling less than 5 percent.
The second debate, scheduled for September 16, will have two parts, each with a different group of candidates. One group will include the top 10, according to polling, similar to criteria for the first debate.
The second, separate group will be those ranked outside the top 10 but meet a minimum threshold of 1 percent in polls.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California will host the debate, which will air live on CNN, CNN International and CNN Espanol. The Salem Radio Network will broadcast the debate.
"We support and respect the decision CNN has made," Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said of the format.