February 5, 2016
Assuming you join most of America in ignoring the existence of Jim Gilmore (who received 12–not a typo–votes in Iowa), there are eight remaining GOP presidential candidates. As of now, seven are scheduled to take the stage in New Hampshire on ABC tomorrow night at 8pm Eastern.
See if you can spot the candidate who was excluded:
Iowa Caucus: 2.8%
Cash on Hand (12/31/15): $7.59 million
Iowa Caucus: 1.9%
New Hampshire RCP polling average (PPP): 11.0%
National GOP Favorability Rating (PPP): +6
Cash on Hand (12/31/15): $2.54 million
Iowa Caucus: 1.9%
New Hampshire RCP polling average: 3.5%
National GOP Favorability Rating (PPP): +34
Cash on Hand (12/31/15): $4.48 million
Iowa Caucus: 1.8%
New Hampshire RCP polling average: 5.3%
National GOP Favorability Rating (PPP): +18
Cash on Hand (12/31/15): $1.13 million
They were pretty much equally dismal in Iowa. Candidate A has more money on hand (not counting the $50 million remaining in his PAC) and decent poll numbers in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, nationwide, Republicans dislike this candidate. This individual was included.
Candidate B is very similar to A in these metrics. Less money on hand, less pathetic approval rating. If you include one, you need to include the other. They did.
Two possibilities for the scorned candidate. C and D had almost identical results in Iowa. Candidate D is doing slightly better in New Hampshire, but has half the support of a month ago. Candidate C is holding steady at a low level.
Iowa was a wash. Technically Candidate C got a few more votes. C also has significantly more cash on hand and a much higher national favorability rating. Both C and D are more popular across the country than A & B, perhaps indicating they are more viable if given a ticket out of New Hampshire.
Who gets the boot?
Based on ABC’s rules, it’s C. If Carly Fiorina were 6th in New Hampshire, she would be included. Unfortunately, she’s 7th, so based on ABC’s pre-announced criteria, no go. Ben Carson is running 8th in the Granite State, but qualifies based on his national polling average.
Fiorina isn’t going to win the nomination. Neither is Carson. Nobody is suggesting he get excluded from the debate. After finishing 4th in Iowa, it would be absurd to exclude him and include several who finished behind him.
It wasn’t by much, but Carly did finish ahead of Candidate B (John Kasich) and Candidate D (Chris Christie). If the RNC applies enough pressure, ABC will relent. Leaving the only female candidate out, when several others with marginal odds of winning the nomination are in, is very poor form. She won’t prevent Christie from calling Marco Rubio Bubble Boy.
There is no remaining undercard debate for her to participate in. Unlike Rand Paul who boycotted an undercard, Carly has fought for main stage inclusion, but has shown up in events when assigned to the Gilmore Table.
It’s not like there is a huge difference between having 7 and 8 people on stage. If Donald Trump had decided to play, the Fox News Iowa debate would have included 8. By the next debate, the herd will have thinned.
C’mon guys. Let her go out in style.
UPDATE (2:10pm Eastern): New poll from WBUR has Fiorina at 8%. Maybe she can parlay her exclusion (if RNC and ABC stick to their guns) into a few extra votes from flinty New Englanders.