Carly Fiorina Is Hopping Mad At CNN Over Looming Debate Snub

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Carly Fiorina Cries Foul at the GOP Debate Cutoff.

Is CNN about to screw up its upcoming GOP primary debate by screwing over one of the candidates? The deputy campaign manager of Carly Fiorina’s presidential effort said she feels “very confident” that CNN and the Republican National Committee will keep the former Hewlett-Packard CEO off the debate stage on September 16 despite her rising popularity. “I think CNN and the RNC have made it very clear that they have every intention of doing that,” the staffer, Sarah Isgur Flores, told Bloomberg Wednesday. “I feel very confident that they’re going to do that.” Flores, a former RNC aide, also wrote in an entry on Fiorina’s Medium account Wednesday that “the political establishment is still rigging the game to keep Carly off the main debate stage next month” because CNN will use polls from before the Republican field’s first debates on August 6 to determine who qualifies for its debate. At least one aggrieved Republican contender, Carly Fiorina, is angry today about the criteria the venerable cable news network will use to choose its debate participants, and her campaign has taken to the medium of Medium to air its grievances. Fiorina before and after the Fox News debate earlier this month, where she stood out as a considerable winner despite being relegated to the also-ran set of candidates. Since the last debate, she’s risen dramatically in the polls, but because CNN insists on using all polls since mid-July, she may not make the main event.

Before, she had warned people not to underestimate the mogul and Republican front-runner’s outsider appeal, and she confined most of her attacks to Hillary Clinton. CNN is hosting the Sept. 16 debate and is planning to use an average of polls dating to mid-July to determine which 10 candidates will be allowed to participate. And the novel solution that Fox hit upon was to not solve it at all: Instead of jamming 17 people on the stage, Fox — using data from the five most recent polls — would give those averaging in the top 10 the primetime debate slot. We believe that our approach is a fair and effective way to deal with the highest number of candidates we have ever encountered.” “The RNC had great success creating a more orderly debate process but ultimately the criteria is legally left to the networks to determine,” a spokeswoman for the organization said in an e-mailed statement. “CNN’s debate parameters were released in May in order ensure there was notice and awareness of the criteria well in advance of the debate.”

If the RNC won’t tell CNN to treat post-debate polling consistently with pre-debate polling, they are putting their thumb on the scale and choosing to favor candidates with higher polling for three weeks in July over candidates with measurable momentum in August and September.” Fiorina’s point is well taken. For those seven candidates — which, along with Fiorina, included Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum — sequestration at this minor debate meant they were really only going to get one shot at getting into the top tier. Realistically, there was only ever going to be one winner — one candidate who’d ascend to the more rarefied air of the next mainstage debate, to be hosted by CNN on Sept. 16th in Simi Valley, California. Fiorina also criticized the rules on Wednesday, arguing on NBC that state polls should be a consideration in determining a candidate’s debate qualifications.

There is nothing the grass roots hate quite as much as “party insiders” or “the establishment.” Well, on second thought, it might be the media. Fiorina said she would continue reach as many voters face-to-face as she can. “I don’t have any impact over the rules,” she said. “I think that’s why people are losing trust in the media, frankly, and are upset in many cases with the R.N.C.”

Let’s take a look at the headlines from the day after: So — from online to print, national to local, left-leaning to right-leaning, to “Everyone” — we sort of had a clear consensus: the winner was Carly Fiorina. And more importantly, voters quantitatively agreed: Here, via HuffPost Pollster, you can see how everyone stuck at the “happy hour” debate has fared since the lights went down that night.

The R.N.C. defended the CNN standards last month, insisting that party officials have no authority to alter the polling formula; election law stipulates that only media outlets and non-profit organizations may play a host role in the debates. Fiorina about how the public will view denying the sole woman in the crowded field of men access to the debate showcase, especially since that woman showed enough prowess in the first debate to stand out from the men at the “kiddies’ table.” Mrs. It would show gumption, upstage Trump (who likely would not give up a chance before the cameras) and at the same time avoid being tagged themselves as unfairly taking advantage of a bizarre selection criteria. Here’s how Carly ranks in every state poll since the first debate: New Hampshire: 3rd; South Carolina: 4th; Wisconsin: 5th; Florida: 5th; Ohio: 6th; Pennsylvania: 4th; Nevada: 2nd; North Carolina: 6th; Arizona: 3rd; Iowa: 5th; Michigan: 2nd; Missouri: 7th; New Hampshire: 5th; Iowa: 5th; Iowa: 5th.

This gives Fiorina more opportunities to bash the media and the “old boys club.” Depending on the number of polls published before the next debate, she may still get in. I just think CNN is using some perplexing standards to determine its top 10, by which I mean it’s going to use poll data from polls dating back to July 16. By giving such weight to polls from what is, for all intents and purposes, a bygone age, CNN is making it much harder for Fiorina to capitalize on the momentum she’s earned — a phenomenon that Philip Bump demonstrates in great detail at The Washington Post. Out here in the real world, where real voters have registered their newfound appreciation for Fiorina in appreciable ways, any decision to exclude her just doesn’t square.

Let’s just look again at the current HuffPost Pollster polling average, with the entire field included: We have Fiorina in a safe seventh place at the moment, which would comfortably get her into the mainstage debate. Right now, if those six candidates and their polling numbers combined to form Loser GOP Presidential Candidate Voltron, they still couldn’t overtake Fiorina. Putting her back in the also-ran division will send the message to voters that there’s no point to tuning in to that lesser competition, and that overcoming that interesting and daunting challenge — which Fiorina did! — is meaningless.

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