Perry Makes It Into South Carolina Debate, Barely
Um…Rick Perry? It may be time for you to consider hanging up your running shoes.
The Texas Governor has had a stroke of luck in the state of South Carolina. CNN is letting him participate in the big pre-primary debate, despite the fact that he really doesn’t totally meet the qualifications necessary to be in it. At least, not without a little finagling.
According to The Hill, “CNN’s debate qualifications seem to rule Perry out: he does not meet the network’s requirement for candidates to finish in the top four slots in Iowa or New Hampshire voting results. Perry came in fifth in Iowa and sixth in New Hampshire, where he did not campaign. He has also fallen below the required 7 percent average in both national and South Carolina polling. His Real Clear Politics polling average nationally is about 6 percent and in Palmetto State polling he gets 5 percent.”
CNN, meanwhile, says Perry does meet the criteria, although they didn’t initially explain how. Talking Points Memo reports the station replying to inquiries. “‘Yes, Gov. Perry will be invited to next week’s CNN debate,’ said Edie Emery, director of public relations for Turner Broadcasting Systems, in an e-mail to TPM. ‘He has met the criteria.’ A follow-up e-mail to Emery, asking which criteria Perry has met, was not immediately returned.”
Eventually, CNN explained that Perry does qualify with a 7 percent average in three national polls. The problem was that the CBS poll included in the last three polls had two results for Perry, one with 6 percent support and one with 7 percent. By using that latter results, he just makes it into the event. And, technically, he would make it even with the 6 percent polling number, too. “If you average 7, 7 and 6, you get 6.67. And across the board, in polling methodology, you round up to get to the next digit. And so even if you were to insist – even if someone were to insist that we use CBS’s non-traditional methodology, in which case Governor Perry gets a 6, with the other two polls in which he is listed as 7, average to 6.67, yielding a 7.”
Lucky for Perry, CNN likes to round up.
The CNN debate will be held on January 19th, just two days before the primary.
photo credit:Jonathan Blundell