Paul Excluded From Fox Debate With ABC Debate Also In Doubt

Ron Paul is being excluded from a debate held by Fox just prior to the New Hampshire caucus, and naturally Paul’s supporters are not happy. Fox justifies their decision by arguing that Paul is only in single digits in the polls. Paul does come closer to double digits in New Hampshire polls, and the vote for him might wind up in double digits if he either gets a bounce out of Iowa or if he has the opportunity to impress more voters prior to the vote (such as in this debate). Naturally there is also speculation that Fox has chosen their criteria in order to exclude the sole anti-war candidate. This suspicion is strengthened by the inclusion of Fred Thompson, who falls behind Paul in some polls.

At this time it is uncertain whether Paul will be excluded from a debate being held by ABC. If Paul is able to come in fourth place in Iowa he will be included.

I have recently given reasons as to why Paul should not be excluded and would refer back to the recent post as opposed to repeating all the same arguments here. The traditional role of New Hampshire should also be considered. Dark horse candidates sometimes establish themselves as legitimate contenders by doing better than anticipated in Iowa or New Hampshire. If New Hampshire is to have a special position in the primaries, candidates should continue to have this opportunity. Perhaps it would make sense to exclude candidates later in the primary race based upon poor performances in the early primaries, but at very least such decisions should be based upon actual votes, and not just polls.

ABC’s inclusion of a fourth place finish in Iowa makes this a little fairer than Fox’s criteria but Iowa and New Hampshire are quite different states. A candidate with support among independents and libertarians could do better in New Hampshire than in Iowa. If New Hampshire is to remain a state which makes or breaks many candidates, they should not base such decisions on either the polls or the voters of Iowa.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    chris lawton says:

    FOX STOCK DUMP (NewsCorp Symbol: NWS) going VIRAL now

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