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Rand Paul may not qualify for CNN debate

The Kentucky Senator's polling numbers may be too low for the main event.

By Ann Marie Awad
Rand Paul may not qualify for CNN debate
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. may not poll high enough to make the next CNN debate. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., may not make the cut for the next televised Republican presidential debate on CNN.

To qualify, Paul needs at least a 3.5 percent average in national polls, or 4 percent in the early voting states of Iowa or New Hampshire. Paul comes very close in Iowa, where he averages at 3.5 percent. The rankings are based on polls conducted between Oct. 29 and Dec. 13.

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Bloomberg reported a Granite State Poll between now and then could make or break Paul's chances for the debate stage. The Kentucky senator would need 6 percent in Iowa, 8 percent in New Hampshire or 10.5 nationally to qualify.

Carly Fiorina just barely makes the cut with her 4.6 percent in New Hampshire.

The next debate is scheduled for Dec. 15 in Las Vegas. CNN says nine candidates would make the cut -- including Paul, if his numbers hold: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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Christie's appearance would be his first on a prime-time debate stage. His previous numbers held him firmly in the undercard debates, but his strong 6.8 percent average in New Hampshire qualifies him for next week's main event.

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