CNBC announced on Wednesday that ten candidates have beaten the 2.5 percent minimum polling requirement in an average of specifically outlined national presidential preference polls, and therefore have qualified to face off at 8 p.m. EST on the main stage at the network’s televised October 28 Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Coors Events Center.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, U.S. Senator from Florida Marco Rubio, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and U.S. Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul have qualified for the event’s main stage.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum, former New York Governor George Pataki, and U.S. Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham fell short of the main stage’s polling requirement but qualified for the event’s junior varsity undercard and will square off at 6 p.m. EST.
CNBC said that candidates will be arranged on stage on the basis of their polling averages. “Donald Trump and Ben Carson will anchor the center of the stage for the 8PM ET debate. To Donald Trump’s right will be Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and John Kasich, in that order. To Ben Carson’s left will be Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, in that order,” the network noted.
The debate has been titled “The Republican Presidential Debate: Your Money, Your Vote” and will primarily feature questions on economics, taxes, and technology. CNBC announced that “Carl Quintanilla, co-anchor of ‘Squawk on the Street’ and ‘Squawk Alley,’ Becky Quick, co-anchor of ‘Squawk Box’ and Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood” will serve as moderators for the event.
CNBC originally stated that candidates would not be allowed an opportunity to give an opening and closing statement so as to leave what Politico’s Alex Isenstadt characterized as “more time for the candidates to potentially clash with one another.”
The GOP candidates then protested the length of the debate and the absence of opening and closing statements, which climaxed in Donald Trump and Ben Carson threatening to boycott the contest. According to CNN, CNBC subsequently gave in to some of their demands by capping the debate at two hours including commercials and agreeing to present to each candidate an open ended question at the beginning of the debate and a 30 second closing statement at the end.
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