CNN announced Thursday night that 11 Republican candidates had made the cut for the network's primetime September 16 presidential debate. Here's the lineup:
These are the same 10 candidates who qualified for the first Fox News debate, plus Carly Fiorina, who was only allowed to make the cut because of a last-minute rules change by the network.
It's no surprise that the lineup ended up being so similar. Unlike Fox News, which took into account only the final five national polls by organizations it considered prestigious, CNN had decided it would include all of those polls conducted in the past two months prior to the debate, and average them.
However, in comparison to the glut of polls that were conducted in July and early August before that first debate, there have only been five polls afterward. So most of the results CNN is relying on are from polls taken earlier in the summer.
If CNN had used Fox News's methodology and only included those five most recent polls, Chris Christie would have been dropped from the stage, and Fiorina would have taken his spot. As it is, the network decided to tweak its rules so that Fiorina's mini-surge in polls after the first debate could be taken into account, and allowed her on stage without bumping anyone off.
The candidates' standing positions are also based on the more recent polls, not the older ones. Ben Carson has moved up to second place and won the honor of standing next to poll leader Donald Trump. Scott Walker, meanwhile, has fallen to fifth. And Rand Paul and Chris Christie, in 10th and 11th place recently, will be relegated to the edges, which will make it hard for them to argue with each other.
Like Fox News, CNN is holding an earlier debate segment for the candidates who didn't make the cut. The qualifiers for this were Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, and George Pataki.
This is a reduced lineup from Fox News's "kiddie table" debate, which included seven candidates. Perry is now out and, as mentioned, Fiorina has been promoted to primetime. Additionally, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore has failed to qualify even for this segment. CNN required candidates to get 1 percent support in three national polls from its select list of organizations, and Gilmore has only managed to hit 1 percent in one poll.