With horrible polling figures, can Rand Paul qualify for the main-stage debate?

11 December 2015   
With horrible polling figures, can Rand Paul qualify for the main-stage debate?

With the abundance of presidential candidates on the GOP side, criteria are put in place to ensure that only candidates with legitimate viability can debate in the prime-time forums. This has created several frenzies leading up to the GOP presidential debates over which candidates will qualify for the main forum and which will be relegated to the less watched and less cared-for debate. With the next GOP debate just four days away, a new frenzy has arisen over an important consideration: will Rand Paul qualify for the main debate?

As the only Libertarian in the race, Rand Paul’s views on isolationism and eradicated budget deficits are unique and have struck a chord with a niche voter base. However, as important as it is to have different messages and positions floating around the political sphere, it appears that Paul’s niche base is not large enough to make him a viable contender. An analysis from Bloomberg News finds that Rand’s national polling average since the end of October is roughly 2.8%. In order to qualify for the main stage in this next debate, however, a candidate must be polling at an average of 3.5% nationally in primary polls conducted after October 29. Candidates can also qualify for the debate by polling above 4% in either Iowa or New Hampshire, yet Paul is stuck at a dismal 3.5% in Iowa.

Bloomberg’s analysis finds that Rand’s best chances of qualifying for the main debate lie in his ability to obtain 6% favor in the next Iowa poll – a figure he has not met since June. Thus, it appears that Rand Paul will, more than likely, not be participating in the main debate on December 15.

Do you think Rand can qualify? Does his candidacy even matter at this point, given his low polling numbers?