Gov. Chris Christie and former Gov. Mike Huckabee are the first casualties of the winnowing GOP debate field, as Fox Business Network announced Thursday night that they both officially missed the cut for next week’s contest.
Christie and Huckabee are the only two candidates who had previously appeared on the main debate stage to get cut by the network, which set a threshold of 2.5 percent in four major polls for the top contest. They’ll instead participate in the undercard debate, a demotion that could serve as a major blow for his fledgling campaign.
The writing was on the wall for Christie by Wednesday night, when he received 2 percent of the vote in Fox News’ latest poll. Poll watchers noted that with Christie’s stagnant numbers in a handful of recent polls, including the Fox one, made it increasingly unlikely that he’d be able to stay above that threshold.
Both candidates barely missed the mark, finishing with 2.25 percent in the four polls considered--those conducted by Fox News, NBC/Wall Street Journal, Quinnipiac University, and Investors Business Daily. If either candidate scored just one percentage point higher in any of those polls, they would have made it onto the debate stage.