GOP Hopefuls Gear Up For Primary Debates

Political reporter Ben Philpott tells the Standard whether getting a slot in the big debate or showing up for the lower-performing candidate forum is more beneficial to the GOP campaigners.

By David BrownJuly 31, 2015 11:00 am,

The final countdown has begun. We’re exactly one week out from the first Republican presidential primary debate on Fox News. The main event, scheduled for 8 p.m. Texas Standard Time on August 6, is still limited to the top 10 candidates. But in order to accommodate the whole candidate pool of all 17 GOP hopefuls, the bottom seven will be allowed to participate in another non-primetime forum earlier in the day.

But, if you’re running president — and why not, isn’t everyone? Which one of these events do you want to be a part of: the debate or the forum? Political Reporter Ben Philpott joins the Standard to discuss.

On whether the primetime debate is more important:

There are so many candidates out there. There is only so much money to go around. You might have a hard time raising funds if you can’t crack that top 10. I will say that I think there’s going to be an opportunity for one or two candidates out of the “B” team debate to make it into that next level.

On how are the so-called top 10 are selected:

Fox News has been specific and not specific. It’s going to be an average of the last five national polls. They’re actually releasing this on Tuesday, [August] 4, before the debate at about 4 p.m. our time.… Fox News is gonna pick five [poll numbers] and average it together.