“The race is on for the final spots on stage for the first Republican debate. With the highly-anticipated showdown less than two weeks away, candidates with low polling numbers are in a high-stakes scramble to qualify for an event that represents their best shot at breaking out,” The Hill reports.
“Based on five polls used by RealClearPolitics, eight candidates look like locks to make the stage, while the race for the final two slots is headed for a controversial photo finish. For the candidates currently ranked between 9th place and 14th place, the polling differential is negligible.”
Rick Klein: “The demise of the Iowa straw poll robbed us of the main midsummer winnowing contest in the Republican race. But another has emerged – setting up what could be the most exciting and chaotic 10-day stretch of the campaign this calendar year. The scramble to secure one of the 10 invitations to the first GOP presidential debate has Rand Paul torching the federal tax code, Lindsey Graham pulverizing flip phones, Rick Perry identifying a certain ‘cancer’ in his party, and Chris Christie spending a quarter-million dollars in July. Getting noticed matters; it may even explain why Mike Huckabee is doubling down with his comment that the Iran deal is marching Israelis ‘to the door of the oven.’ Never before has registering in the top X in polling mattered as much as it will during this stretch.”