CNN announced on Tuesday that it would change the criteria for candidates to qualify for its top-tier Sept. 16 debate following a series of complaints from Carly Fiorina that the standard the network was using was unfair.
The network said initially that the top 10 candidates in an average of public polls from July 16 to Sept. 10 would be allowed to participate in the top-tier debate while the rest of the candidates would participate in a separate one. Fiorina had argued that the standards were unfair because they didn't accurately reflect her increase in the polls after a strong performance at the Aug. 6 GOP debate. The network will now also look at the top 10 candidates in an average of polls from Aug. 7 to Sept. 10.
CNN said in a statement that it is changing its criteria because of a lack of available polling following the Aug. 6 debate, noting there have been only three new polls to help shape the lineup of the debate.
"In the event that any candidate is polling in the top 10 in an average of approved national polls released between August 7th and September 10th, we will add those candidates to our top tier debate, even if those candidates did not poll in the top 10 in an average of approved national polls between July 16th and September 10th," CNN said in a statement. "We have discussed these changes with the Republican National Committee and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and they are fully supportive."
Even though the lineup for the Sept. 10 debate has not been set, Fiorina's campaign said in a statement Tuesday that she expects to be onstage at the Reagan Library in the top-tier debate.
"We're so grateful to the thousands of grassroots supporters and conservative activists around the country who weren't afraid to take on the political establishment and challenge the status quo to make this happen," the campaign said. "We look forward to watching Carly Fiorina debate the other front runners at the Reagan Library."
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