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Fiorina, Christie battle for spot on main debate stage


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252371-fiorina-christie-battle-for-spot-on-main-debate-stageThe Hill:

Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina are battling to be on the main stage of the next GOP presidential debate.


While Christie’s supporters are spending $1 million in advertising to solidify his spot, Fiorina is unlikely to be able to buy the ad time needed to help her climb enough in national polls to make it onto the main debate stage in two weeks, a GOP strategist said.


With 10 days to go until CNN decides the top 10 for the next Republican debate, Fiorina’s campaign sent out a fundraising email to supporters on Monday asking for donations to help the candidate make it to the prime-time stage.

“CNN has made it crystal clear that they'll do anything, even use funny math and nonsensical arguments, to keep a critical outsider voice — our voice — off that stage,” the fundraising email says, pointing readers to a large red "donate now" button.

Fiorina’s low poll numbers leading up to the first GOP debate on Aug. 6 kept her off the main stage that time, but her numbers have surged since her performance in the early evening debate of second-tier candidates. CNN, however, is deciding its top 10 using polls that date back to July 16, when she registered 1 percent or 2 percent support.

Even if Fiorina’s campaign or super-PAC were willing to spend millions of dollars on advertising between now and Sept. 10, CNN’s poll cut-off date, it would be hard for her to garner enough national polling points to break into the top 10, said Stuart Stevens, chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

“If you’re looking at national numbers, its very hard to buy that,” he said. “People say ‘well, buy Fox,’ but Fox is 2 million people” and that’s not nearly enough to move national polls, Stevens added.Scissors-32x32.png

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