It could be tougher for low-polling Republican candidates to be included in the next presidential debate.
CNBC, which is sponsoring the October 28 debate, said Wednesday that to be eligible for the prime time debate, a candidate must have an average of at least 3 percent in polls conducted by NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg released between Sept. 17 and October 21. Anyone with 2.5 percent or more would qualify.
Others polling at least 1 percent in one of those polls would be invited to an earlier forum that day.
The new criteria are different from the first two debates. In the August 6 and Sept. 16 debates, the top 10 or 11 candidates qualified, regardless of percentage.
Fifteen prominent Republicans are vying for the White House. According to poll averages compiled by RealClearPolitics.com., seven Republicans are now above 3 percent. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, and Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, at a 3 percent, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. is at 2.3 percent. Some of the polls included are not on CNBC’s list.
Under 1 percent in the average are Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, former Sen. Rick Santorum, George Pataki, former governor of New York and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia, is not included in the poll.
The debate, to held at the University of Colorado in Boulder, is to focus on economic issues.