- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The trailing candidates in the crowded Republican presidential field can now more easily qualify for Fox News’s pre-debate debate next week in Cleveland.

According to multiple news outlets, Fox News is dropping the requirement that potential candidates average 1 percent support to get into the earlier candidate forum, which lasts one hour and starts at the much less attractive 5 p.m. time slot on Aug. 6. Only the 10 highest-polling candidates will appear in the 90-minute prime-time 9 p.m. main event.

The change is expected to benefit such candidates as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Lindsey Graham and businesswoman Carly Fiorina, all of whom have struggled even to breach consistently the 1 percent mark in polling, but who are now ensured of appearing to a national audience.

Politico first reported the change, quoting Fox News executive vice president Michael Clemente as the result of “a concerted effort to include and accommodate the now 16 Republican candidate field — the largest in modern political history.”

Now, Mr. Clemente said, a candidate need only be consistently offered as an option in the major polls being used to calculate the Top 10 to receive an invitation.

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