With just a week to go before the first Republican primary debate on August 6, the time is drawing near for Fox News to name the ten people who will make it onto the stage. ABC News has done some number crunching and they say that there are eight people who seem likely to make the cut: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson
Three of them are likely out: Carly Fiorina, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham.
That leaves five candidates ‘on the bubble’ (as the pros like to say) to slug it out for the remaining two slots: Chris Christie, Rick Perry, John Kasich, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal.
The interesting thing is that a shift in as little as 0.2% points can make the difference between being in or out and this means that the responses of as few as 2 or 3 people in polls (that usually survey 1000 people) can make the crucial difference, which means the whole exercise is rather silly. But if a pollster calls you, think very carefully before answering!
Interestingly, Fox News has not said which five national polls it will use to make the final determination. I suspect that this gives them the option of having some say in the outcome by trying out all the possible combinations of five polls and then picking those that will result in the bubble candidates they prefer getting in.