Why is Rick Perry in These Next Debates?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 7 2012 8:45 AM

Why is Rick Perry in These Next Debates?

BOW, N.H. -- This is not quite a rhetorical question. WMUR et al have released the standards to qualify in tonight's Republican debate.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

In order for a candidate to meet the standard of eligibility to participate in the debate, they must either:
1) Achieve 5 percent or higher in a poll of likely NH Republican primary voters conducted by UNH Survey Center, Harvard/Saint Anselm NHIOP, or any polling organization on the list below, conducted between Nov. 1, 2011 and Jan. 6, 2012;- OR -
2) Achieve 5 percent or higher in a primary trial heat of registered Republican voters in any of the national polls designated on the list below, conducted between Nov. 1, 2011 and Jan. 6, 2012;- OR -
3) Place first, second or third in the Iowa Republican caucuses.
Polling organizations include: ABC News, AP, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN, FOX, Gallup, NBC News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post
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If you check the RCP omnibus of polls, you'll find that Perry has not cracked 5 percent in New Hampshire since an NBC News/Marist poll in October. Check the Iowa caucus results, and you'll notice that Perry came in fifth place. He only makes the debate because he's been above 5 percent in some national polls -- polls that have no bearing on who will win primary states. (For reference, see Rick Santorum's pre-caucus national numbers.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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