- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2015

Carly Fiorina will appear in the prime-time segment of the next Republican presidential debate, CNN announced Thursday evening.

The main segment, which starts at 8 p.m. next Wednesday, will feature the 11 top-ranking Republican hopefuls, according to polls taken over the past two months.

Besides Mrs. Fiorina, the other 10 candidates in the prime-time debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, will be the same 10 men who appeared in the prime-time segment of the first debate, last month in Cleveland on Fox News Channel.

Mrs. Fiorina made the main debate after CNN loosened the criteria to allow persons who made the Top 10 poll averages in either of two periods — all qualified polls since July, and a subset of those polls taken since the Cleveland debate.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO was in the Top 10 in the latter sample, but not the former.

None of the other six candidates who participated in Fox News “pre-debate” — widely dismissed as the “kiddie table” — was able to secure a spot in prime-time this time around.

The 11 candidates in the main debate will be businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Rand Pau of Kentucky, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Mrs. Fiorina.

Had CNN’s sample been limited to the Top 10 of all polls, Mrs. Fiorina would have been left out; had it been limited to the Top 10 in recent polls, Mr. Christie would have.

Participating in the pre-debating, which starts at 6 p.m. will be Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Louisiana Gov.Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore will not participate even in the pre-debate, CNN said, because he only registered 1 percent support in one poll taken the two-month window. Candidates were required to average 1 percent over at least three.

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