Fox News thought they could bring some order to the chaos of the Republican primary by imposing debate rules that limited the number of candidates. Instead, their plan has backfired as Republicans oppose the network’s plan for the Republican debate.
According to the new Monmouth University Poll:
The top ten candidates in the field, based on a national polling average, will make it into the first sanctioned GOP debate later this week. Few Republican voters are on board with this idea. When presented with three possible scenarios to determine who gets into the first debate, nearly half (45%) prefer to have two back-to-back debates with the field randomly split in half. Another 29% say it would be better to put all the declared candidates together on one stage. Just 23% favor using polls to select a “top ten” group of candidates for the main debate while having the remaining candidates participate in a separate debate.
“I suppose Fox hoped that a top tier would emerge by the time the first debate rolled around. But based on current polling, there’s no good rationale for arbitrarily selecting a top ten,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The problem is that after Donald Trump (26%), Jeb Bush (12.2%), and Scott Walker (11.1%) all of the other Republican candidates are bunched together. Fox News has claimed that they will be using the five polls to pick the ten candidates who will make it to the main debate stage, but nobody seems to know which polls Fox is going to use.
What’s even worse is that Fox News appears to be making up the rules as they go along. New York Magazine reported, “Inside Fox, the debate is generating controversy among Ailes’s senior ranks. ‘There’s total confusion about all of it. The Second Floor is making it up as they go along,’ one Fox personality told me, referring to Ailes’s executive suite. According to sources, Fox executives are still undecided about which polls to use and who will be allowed on the stage.”
Fox News has added fuel to the chaos within the Republican primary, and even their viewers can sense the unfairness of the entire situation. Fox has been changing the rules of the debate seemingly at the whim of Roger Ailes.
The upside to this drama is that Fox News has eliminated any pretense of being a news organization. It is clear that Fox is actively trying to pick the Republican nominee. Legitimate news organizations don’t set the debate rules and then change their minds based on which candidates they would like to see included. The Fox debate criteria was a phony sham that is so obvious that even their brainwashed viewers can see what is really going on.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association