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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fox News officially announced the lineups for their big Republican debates on Thursday — with a certain loudmouth celebrity getting a position of honor, thanks to his lead in the polls.

The debate’s moderators — Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly, and Bret Baier — explained that the top candidate based on a set of recent national polls will have the center podium. To one side will be the next highest candidate, then the third highest on the other side. The arrangement will then expand outward from there.

For the primetime 9 p.m. debate the candidates are:

1. Donald Trump
2. Jeb Bush
3. Scott Walker
4. Mike Huckabee
5. Ben Carson
6. Ted Cruz
7. Marco Rubio
8. Rand Paul
9. Chris Christie
10. John Kasich

This is a huge success for Kasich, who just entered the race about two weeks ago — and with the well-timed burst of publicity, he overtook Perry for the final spot in the polls last week.

The bottom seven candidates will have an earlier debate at 5 p.m. ET — which has been variously described as the “kids’ table,” the “minor league,” or the “warmup debate,” owing to it being in a much less coveted time slot. They will similarly be arranged in podium order by their aggregate poll ranking, as follows:

11. Rick Perry
12. Rick Santorum
13. Bobby Jindal
14. Carly Fiorina
15. Lindsey Graham
16. George Pataki
17. Jim Gilmore

This means that out of a very wide Republican field, the prime-time debate will not include: the runner-up from the last primary season, Santorum; the only woman on the GOP side, Fiorina; and the first major Asian-American candidate for president, Jindal. They will all be consigned to the second-tier debate — but who knows, perhaps that might be just for the forum for any of those seven candidates to really stand out and earn some attention.

Photo: U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump points as he stands outside his hotel.
(Action Images via Reuters/Russell Cheyne/Livepic)

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Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • Dominick Vila

    I realize that Trump has been able to capture the attention, and imagination, of many Americans, but isn’t the inclusion of three different articles about him on the same National Memo page, and nothing about Democrats, an admission of failure? Why are we all dancing to the tune played by the Donald? I know his antics are fun, and provide desperately needed entertainment, but isn’t this a bit too much? The attention we are giving this guy is evidence of his political success, and a demonstration of failure on our part. We still have time to turn things around…but that requires tangible and pragmatic focus which, with the exception of Bernie Sanders, an Independent, seems to be conspicuously absent from our side.

    • TZToronto

      One problem we have is that conventional wisdom can be very attractive but often very wrong. Conventional wisdom says that crime is on the rise. Conventional wisdom says that illegal immigrants are responsible for crime. Conventional wisdom says that lowering taxes on corporations will motivate them to hire more workers. Conventional wisdom says that Iran cannot be trusted, just as conventional wisdom said that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Conventinal wisdom says that legalizing marijuana will result in more drug addicts and more crime. Conventional wisdom says that a lot of snow on the front lawn shows that the earth is not warming up. Trump, et al., love to operate on the basis of conventional wisdom FOR EVERYONE BUT THEMSELVES; conventional wisdom does not provide much for ordinary people. Candidates on our side tend to try to show how wrong conventional wisdom is, and that does not resonate with most people.

    • dpaano

      But, Dominick, he’s only in it for the attention…he’s such a narcissist!