Fox Business Network says it analyzed no fewer than 17 polls before delivering some bad news to Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul: The candidates have been relegated to the undercard for Thursday night's GOP debate. To make the cut, candidates had to place either in the top six in national polls or in the top five in Iowa and New Hampshire, reports the New York Times. The main debate will feature Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump, with Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum taking part in the earlier debate at what has become known as the "kids' table."
The demotion is a massive blow to both candidates, and Paul—who made the cut for the previous five GOP debates—is refusing to take part in the undercard debate, Politico reports. In a statement, his campaign said the polls were both wrong and flawed. "To exclude candidates on faulty analysis is to disenfranchise the voter," the statement said. "Creating 'tiers' based on electoral results of real votes might make sense but creating 'tiers' on bad science is irresponsible." There has been no comment yet from Fiorina, who was promoted to the main stage in September after a strong performance in the first undercard debate, Politico notes. (During the last undercard debate, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki had a lot to say about Donald Trump.)