Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign is fighting to get the Kentucky Republican moved to the main stage of Fox Business Network’s Republican debate Thursday after a poll released Wednesday shows the candidate ranking within the top six slots.
Doug Stafford, Paul’s chief campaign strategist, told The Daily Caller News Foundation the results of the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg survey coming on the heels of a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released Sunday – which also places him in fifth, should be an indication the 2016 hopeful deserves to be bumped up from the undercard debate.
“We’re working with folks to reconsider this, and fairness would indicate that with all the criteria met with this latest addition, he should be on that stage.” he said. “We think he has a top tier campaign in Iowa and should be in the main debate.”
Paul’s camp argued, while the results weren’t released until Jan.13, the poll was conducted before the network’s Jan. 11 deadline.
The survey shows the senator polling at 5 percent, ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (4 percent) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (3 percent) in the Hawkeye State – both of which are featured in the prime-time event.
When the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg survey is factored in to the average of the five most recent polls, Paul is even with Bush in fifth place in Iowa.
Fox Business said it doesn’t intend to make last-minute changes despite Paul’s protest. The network announced Paul and Carly Fiorina would be bumped to the earlier time slot Monday.
“We announced the criteria in December and clearly stated the polling needed to be conducted and released by Monday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. ET,” a Fox Business spokesman told TheDCNF in an email.
Paul’s camp said it’s expecting an answer from Fox Business soon.
If the network ultimately decides against adding Paul, the campaign said it will continue its grassroots efforts to gain traction in the polls.
“If not, we will have the same strategy we had yesterday, which is to take the message to the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and beyond – straight to them,” Stafford said. “The campaign has a great group organization in Iowa, the polls are already showing we’re top five in the state and we intend to surprise even beyond that.”
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Photo by Gage Skidmore