The Republican Debate Selection Process Is a New Wild Card in Presidential Politics

Fox News and CNN are using national polls to limit the debate stage to 10 candidates. Methodologically, they might as well be drawing straws.

Republican presidential candidates participate in a Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday, December 15, 2011.

ERIC GAY/AFP/Getty Images

A month from now, 10 Republican presidential candidates will walk out onto a primetime debate stage in Cleveland and confront each other face to face for the first time. If the debate were held today, Donald Trump would be one of them. Two sitting governors, a U.S. senator, the runner-up for the 2012 GOP nomination, and the first female CEO of a Fortune 50 company would all be excluded.

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