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Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul Won’t Be at the GOP Main Debate Tonight

Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul have been kicked out of Thursday night’s Republican mainstage debate in South Carolina. According to the New York Times, the candidates’ slipping popularity amongst voters is to blame. Fox Business Network, who is hosting the debate, mandated for candidates to have placed in the top six in national polls recognized by the network, or in the top five of recent state polls in Iowa or New Hampshire to appear at the debate. Analysis of over 17 different polls showed that neither candidate was eligible to take the main stage.

The two candidates were, however, extended invitations to participate in the undercard debate.

Mr. Paul declined his invitation to participate. “I won’t participate in anything that’s not first tier because we have a first tier campaign,” he explained to a CNN correspondent.

He has instead decided to bypass the medium of the debate process altogether, and will take his campaign message directly to the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primaries, according to NPR.

Conversely, Ms. Fiorina has accepted her invitation to the undercard debate with confidence.

“Well, you know, it’s interesting, I started this campaign 17 out of 16. Nobody took me seriously. In the latest Fox News poll, I’m number six nationally, so I feel pretty good about where I am and last time I looked, voters decide elections,” she said during an interview with Boston Herald Radio’s Morning Meeting following the release of the mainstage lineup.

With such starkly different reactions to being excluded from the primary debate, we can’t wait to see how these candidates’ decisions play out.

Jenna Adrian is a student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She studies Design & Merchandising. She's currently paving the way to create a career that will unite her passion for both style and government policy reform. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, running, and learning the in's and out's of city culture. You can find her at a coffee shop, a networking event, or brainstorming for her latest article. Check out her thoughts on coffee, fashion, and life in the city on her personal blog, & some like it haute. 
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