Fox News Moves Loser Debate, Cuts Time

Good news and bad news for the GOP candidates that are not making the main debate on Fox News.

Fox News inaugural Republican primary debate in Cleveland, Ohio, has limited inclusion to candidates who finish in the top 10 in an average of national polls.

In June, it announced that the remaining candidates would participate in a 90-minute forum at 1 p.m., eight-hours before the main event.

The good news is FNC is now moving the loser debate to 5PM, instead of just after the lunch. The bad news, they are shortening it from 90 minutes to 1 hour. 

The move to 5 p.m. will give the second-tier candidates a far greater audience than they would have had at mid-day -- the channel's 5 p.m. ratings are nearly double the daytime average -- and will allow Fox News to transition directly from the forum into its pre-debate coverage.

The decision to shorten the forum to one hour will be less celebrated by candidates who already feel spurned by the network's cap. However, the forum is likely to include about half as many participants as the primetime debate, providing each candidate with roughly equal time.

Fox News still has yet to reveal the specific polls it will consider when determining inclusion in the debates. The network has said that candidates must place "in the top 10 of an average of the five most recent national polls, as recognized by Fox News leading up to August 4th at 5 PM/ET," and that the polls "must be conducted by major, nationally recognized organizations that use standard methodological techniques."

If the debate were held tomorrow, such criteria would likely see Rick Santorum, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki relegated to the 5 p.m. forum.

H/T Politico