New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may not be on the main stage at the fourth Republican presidential debate next week.
The rules for the Fox Business-hosted debate, which will take place on next Tuesday in Wisconsin, stipulate that candidates need to average at least 2.5% support among likely Republican primary voters in the latest four national polls released through Wednesday.
It's still unclear which polls Fox Business will use, but the latest four national polls — from Fox News, Quinnipiac University, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, and CBS and The New York Times — found Christie's support at an average of 2.25%.
That would relegate Christie to the "undercard" debate, which has featured lower-polling candidates like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), and former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) in the past. That debate requires candidates to garner at least 1% support in those recent national polls.
See Christie on the campaign trail:
Even if Fox Business uses the same selection of television-only polls that dictated qualifications for last week's CNBC debate — which did not include Quinnipiac — Christie still would not qualify. His support in the Quinnipiac poll, at 3%, is his strongest level. He hasn't garnered more than 3% in a national poll since a mid-October CNN survey.
Fox Business reportedly said Wednesday that it would announce the official lineup Thursday night on "Lou Dobbs Tonight."
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A Fox Business spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment on which polls the network will use. The Fox Business debate in Milwaukee airs at 9 p.m. ET next Tuesday.
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