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 weeks 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 CBSs 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


Sharon H.
Sharon H6 years ago

What do you suppose he'll "forget" this time?

Sue Jones
Sue Jones6 years ago

Hell, why not let him dig his hole deeper? Every time he debates he looks like more of an idiot than the time before.

Maurice Simoens
Maurice Simoens6 years ago

romney and ron paul leads the idiots of republc

Rob Keenan
Rob Keenan6 years ago

I'm not the least bit surprised that CNN made this exception. The network didn't want to lose out on the comic relief this rodeo clown provides.

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik6 years ago

It is OK - just gives Perry more rope with which to hang himself.... unfortunately he will eventually HAVE to admit he is not going to win & that means he will come BACK to TX where we have him until 2015 - unless we mount a recall......

Steve R.
Steve R6 years ago

It doesn't matter - he's out of the race anyway.

It just gives us another chance to affirm our resolve to NOT vote for him.

Mitt Romney and Ron Paul SHOULD dominate the debate - but then CNN has never been well known for fairness.

They will no doubt give more time to the has beens than to Ron Paul.

No matter - Ron Paul gets the word out in other ways - and they can no longer TOTALLY ignore him!

Tom Jack
Tom Jack6 years ago

CNN knows that they need Southerners to expose a Yankee Greenhorn for what he really is...
I love it when Congressman Paul and Governor Perry gang up on Mitt, or Willard, as Reverend Al likes to call him. Leave it to a Texan to quickly size up a person and accurately and quickly discover who he or she really is!

Cathryn C.
Cathryn C6 years ago

Would someone from Texas please come out, rope your Govenor and drag him home. He is embarrassing a Great State and you deserve better.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

Scary Perry!

JACarlton Author
jill c6 years ago

"Finagling" ... how do you 'finagle' blatant lack of qualifications? I guess the rules, once more, don't apply to a rethuglican? Maybe they allowed him to participate for comedy relief.