#NCSEN: Could Mark Harris be cut from TV debates?

harrisTime Warner News and McClatchy are sponsoring a GOP primary debate on April 22.  WRAL has one slated for April 23.  Charlotte pastor — and former Southern Baptist Convention president — Mark Harris has been touted in the media as a leading contender for the GOP nomination. But the rules established for these upcoming televised debates may put him at risk of not being allowed to participate.

For example, take this passage from the Time Warner News debate rules:

Candidate Eligibility

Eligibility to participate in the event will be based on the following criteria:

  • The candidate must average at least 7 percent voter preference in polling conducted by at least three news organizations or independent research firms chosen by the sponsoring news organizations. We will use the flat poll numbers (no margin of error) when computing the averages.

The Civitas Poll released March 24 had Harris at 9 percent in the primary.  The March 20 poll by WRAL had him at 6 percent.  The PPP poll released March 10 had Harris at 7 percent.  If those numbers are rounded up to whole numbers, and you average them, Harris comes in at an average of 7.333 percent.  (Who knows if the debate committee will choose those three polls?) 

Greg Brannon, Thom Tillis, and Heather Grant appear to be safe for making the cut.

7 thoughts on “#NCSEN: Could Mark Harris be cut from TV debates?

  1. What’s the story here? The rules say 7% or higher in the polls and you use 3 polls and he is above 7%. Seems that you are trying to make a story out of a non-story!.

  2. i just got a poll call today from a 704 area code number. Turns out its a land line but did not look further. Asking me if I am voting for Thom Tillis, Undecided or someone else in the May Primary. Thought it was sort of odd.

    1. Yeah, definitely a campaign call, either from Tillis or one of the independent groups supporting him.

  3. All we need is Brannon and Tillie onstage for CLARITY !!!

    THEM together…THREE HOUR DEBATE !!!

  4. I am for Greg Brannon, but in my opinion, Mr. Harris should definitely be included in any debate (the more the merrier I say, especially because of the runoff).

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