DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Sen. Rand Paul expects to participate in Thursday's Republican presidential debate if sponsor Fox News "appropriately" gauges its polling criteria, he said Monday.
His inclusion in the debate in Des Moines, Iowa, five days before the Iowa caucuses, depends on polling within the top six candidates in national polls, or in the top five candidates in Iowa or New Hampshire in polls released by 5 p.m. EST Tuesday.
Paul bowed out of the Jan. 14 undercard debate after he was excluded from the prime time event. The results of a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll, released 36 hours after the deadline, would have caused him to be included in the prime time debate, had it been included.
Paul said the margins of error involved in polling should mean he should be included in the upcoming debate with candidates 1 percent or so ahead of him.
"If Fox counts the polls appropriately, uses the polls and also understands science of polls ... that if you have to have the margin of error, if someone is at 6 [percent] and another person at 7 [percent], and it's plus or minus 3 [percent margin of error] or plus or minus 4 [percent] in the margin of error, you're doing something that's unscientific and unfair to exclude somebody who's a point behind somebody else if the margin of error is 3 [percentage] points."
Paul is in sixth position in the combined polls, and needs a 0.8 percentage point increase to close a gap between himself and candidate Jeb Bush to qualify him for the main debate. Fox News' policy regarding its broadcast of debates includes offering no information about which candidates are heading toward the main stage or the undercard, until the results are announced.