GOP debate: A running tab of this week’s polls as Fox News decides who makes the cut.

Fox News Will Pick Its GOP Debate Field Tonight. Here’s Who Should Be Nervous.

Fox News Will Pick Its GOP Debate Field Tonight. Here’s Who Should Be Nervous.

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Aug. 4 2015 9:26 AM

A Running Tab of This Week’s Polls as Fox News Decides Who Makes the Debate Cut

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Mitt Romney walks on stage during a break in a Fox News debate on September 22, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

There are two things we can already say about Thursday’s GOP debate in Cleveland: The process by which Fox News will select who will be on the main stage—and who won’t be—is a glorified sham. And despite that, it will likely serve as the first major winnowing of a campaign that is still six months away from its first official nominating contest.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Fox News has promised to pick at least 10 GOP hopefuls for the main event based on “an average of the five most recent national polls, as recognized by Fox News” as of 5 p.m. ET Tuesday—a description that tells us incredibly little about which surveys will make the cut and which won’t. But the fact Fox News honchos appear to be writing the rules as they go is only part of the problem; the very idea that the polls can tell us which candidates make up the top 10 is misguided in itself. As Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told McClatchy over the weekend: “It’s a bad use of public polls. It asks public polls to have a precision that ignores the margin of error.” Just how firmly do Miringoff and his team believe that? They have temporarily suspended their GOP polling to ensure the network won’t use it.

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Other pollsters haven’t gone quite as far in protest—but few have made a secret of their displeasure. Monmouth University polling director Patrick Murray released a statement Monday along with his most recent poll that had this to say: “I suppose Fox hoped that a top tier would emerge by the time the first debate rolled around. But based on current polling, there’s no good rationale for arbitrarily selecting a top ten.” To prove his point, his team crunched the numbers and found that when you factor in the poll’s margin of error, only five Republicans can be said to be in the top 10 with statistical certainty—while only two (George Pataki and Jim Gilmore) could definitively be ruled out. The Monmouth team didn’t stop there, either. They included a question in their survey asking voters what they thought about Fox News’ decision to play kingmaker: Less than quarter of respondents picked the top-10 format (23 percent) over two evenly split debates (45 percent) or one giant one (29 percent).

All that, however, doesn’t change the fact that Fox News’ rules are the ones we have. More than a dozen respected polling outfits have conducted national surveys on the GOP primary this year, so Fox execs should have plenty to pick and choose from depending on which polls they choose to “recognize” and just how literal they want to be in regard to “most recent.”

Many pollsters keep their schedules a secret for reasons of both accuracy and competitiveness—but most observers expect a flood of them in the lead up to Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline. Two relatively safe bets about the polling selection, though: A Fox News poll will make the Fox News-administered grade, while surveys from liberal-leaning outfits like Public Policy Polling (which are nonetheless respected enough to make RealClearPolitics running average) will be left on the cutting room floor.

With that in mind, we’ll keep a running tab of this week’s polls as they are released.

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Poll: CBS News Poll
Conducted: 7/29-8/2
Release Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Last In: Jindal, Perry (2 percent)
Last Out: Kasich, Pataki, Santorum, Gilmore (1 percent)

1.) Donald Trump, 24 percent
2.) Jeb Bush, 13 percent
3.) Scott Walker, 10 percent
4.) Mike Huckabee, 8 percent
5.) Ted Cruz, 6 percent
5.) Marco Rubio, 6 percent
5.) Ben Carson, 6 percent
8.) Rand Paul, 4 percent
9.) Chris Christie, 3 percent
10.) Bobby Jindal, 2 percent
10.) Rick Perry, 2 percent
12.) John Kasich, 1 percent
12.) George Pataki, 1 percent
12.) Rick Santorum, 1 percent
12.) Jim Gilmore, 1 percent
16.) Carly Fiorina, <0.5 percent
16.) Lindsey Graham, <0.5 percent

Poll: Bloomberg Politics Poll
Conducted: 7/30-8/2
Release Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Last In: Christie, Cruz, Kasich (4 percent)
Last Out: Perry, Santorum (2 percent)

1.) Donald Trump, 21 percent
2.) Jeb Bush, 10 percent
3.) Scott Walker, 8 percent
4.) Mike Huckabee, 7 percent
5.) Marco Rubio, 6 percent
6.) Rand Paul, 5 percent
6.) Ben Carson, 5 percent
8.) Chris Christie, 4 percent
8.) Ted Cruz, 4 percent
8.) John Kasich, 4 percent
11.) Rick Perry, 2 percent
11.) Rick Santorum, 2 percent
13.) Carly Fiorina, 1 percent
13.) Bobby Jindal, 1 percent
13.) Lindsey Graham, 1 percent
16.) Jim Gilmore, 0 percent
16.) George Pataki, 0 percent

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Poll: Fox News Poll
Conducted: 7/30-8/2
Release Date: Monday, August 3, 2015
Last In: Christie, Kasich (3 percent)
Last Out: Fiorina, Santorum (2 percent)

1.) Donald Trump, 26 percent
2.) Jeb Bush, 15 percent
3.) Scott Walker, 9 percent
4.) Ben Carson, 7 percent
5.) Ted Cruz, 6 percent
5.) Mike Huckabee, 6 percent
7.) Marco Rubio, 5 percent
7.) Rand Paul, 5 percent
9.) Chris Christie, 3 percent
9.) John Kasich, 3 percent
11.) Carly Fiorina, 2 percent
11.) Rick Santorum, 2 percent
13.) Rick Perry, 1 percent
13.) Bobby Jindal, 1 percent
15.) George Pataki, <1 percent
16.) Lindsey Graham, 0 percent
16.) Jim Gilmore, 0 percent

Poll: Monmouth University Poll
Conducted:
7/30 to 8/2
Release Date: Monday, August 3, 2015
Last In: Kasich (3.2 percent)
Last Out: Fiorina (1.9 percent), Perry (1.8 percent)

1.) Donald Trump, 26.0 percent
2.) Jeb Bush, 12.2 percent
3.) Scott Walker, 11.1 percent
4.) Ted Cruz, 5.8 percent
5.) Mike Huckabee, 5.7 percent
6.) Ben Carson, 4.6 percent
7.) Chris Christie 4.4 percent
7.) Rand Paul 4.4 percent
7.) Marco Rubio 4.4 percent
10.) John Kasich 3.2 percent
11.) Carly Fiorina 1.9 percent
12.) Rick Perry 1.8 percent
13.) Bobby Jindal 1.2 percent
14.) Rick Santorum 1.0 percent
15.) Lindsey Graham 0.7 percent
16.) George Pataki 0.4 percent
17.) Jim Gilmore 0.0 percent

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Poll: NBC/Wall Street Journal
Conducted:
7/26-7/30
Date Released:
Sunday, August 2, 2015
Last In: Christie, Perry, Kasich (3 percent)
Last Out: Jindal, Santorum (1 percent)

1.) Donald Trump, 19 percent
2.) Scott Walker, 15 percent
3.) Jeb Bush, 14 percent
4.) Ben Carson, 10 percent
5.) Ted Cruz, 9 percent
6.) Mike Huckabee, 6 percent
6.) Rand Paul, 6 percent
8.) Marco Rubio, 5 percent
9.) Chris Christie, 3 percent
9.) Rick Perry, 3 percent
9.) John Kasich, 3 percent
12.) Bobby Jindal, 1 percent
12.) Rick Santorum, 1 percent
14.) Carly Fiorina, N/A
14.) Lindsey Graham, N/A
14.) George Pataki, N/A
14.) Jim Gilmore, N/A

We’ll continue to update this post with new polls as we get them.

This post was originally published on Monday, Aug. 3, at 5:53 p.m. It has been updated with additional information as it was available.