With his sixth place finish in New Hampshire, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will almost certainly fail to qualify for the next Republican presidential debate Saturday on CBS.
CBS posted the criteria for making the next debate Tuesday. Christie clearly failed to meet the first two criteria: finishing in the top three in Iowa or the top five in New Hampshire. But the third qualification is trickier:
…place among the top five candidates in an average of national and South Carolina Republican presidential polls conducted over a four-week period starting on Jan. 15, 2016 and recognized by CBS News; and receive a minimum of 3 percent in the Iowa, New Hampshire results or the South Carolina or national polls. To be included, polls must be conducted and released to the public before 12 p.m. ET on Feb. 12, 2016.
As it turns out, it’s irrelevant which polls are recognized by CBS News. In every South Carolina or national poll taken since January 15, Christie finished behind Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush. In short, it’s impossible to cherry-pick polls to move Christie into fifth place.
There are still two more days of polling. Christie could pass either Carson or Bush, but he would need to suddenly pull double digit numbers nationally or in South Carolina. His current average is hovering around 2-3%.
There is still one last shining hope for Christie. Last year, Carly Fiorina convinced CNN to change the debate qualifications to allow her to make the main debate stage. Christie needs a similar coup, or his campaign could be dead in the water without a mop.
[Image via screengrab]
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