Is Ron Paul Allowed to Debate Now?

As many people know, Ron Paul was excluded from the Fox News Forum and the ABC debate in New Hampshire. Those events are to take place this weekend and Paul was excluded from Fox who decided to only take candidates who had polled in double digits. ABC has criteria for inclusion. In order to be in the debate a candidate has to meet one of these:

  • place first through fourth in Iowa
  • poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major New Hampshire surveys
  • poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major national surveys

As far as Fox is concerned, Paul does not have double digit support in New Hampshire so if that is their criteria he should be excluded. But, so should Fred Thompson who, in the latest Zogby Poll (1/4/08) polled lower than Paul. I can’t imagine Zogby is not one of the major surveys.

However, the ABC event should include Ron Paul because he polled at 7%. While Thompson polled at 2% he came in third in Iowa so he should still be included. When ABC and Fox announced their requirements they probably felt safe that Ron Paul would not be able to meet any of them. That is the case with Fox but Paul has exceeded one of ABC’s requirements and should be included.

I am willing to bet that ABC will not let Paul in the debate even though he has met their threshold. It is a shame, but they will exclude him even though he raised more money that Giuliani and placed 7% higher than him in Iowa. Of course, Giuliani has already been invited to the debate.

I am not in favor of excluding anyone. These people have decided to run for the presidency of the United States and all of them have some number of supporters. Additionally, the American people should hear everyone so they have all the information they need to take an informed decision.

I might not support Paul (I have not selected anyone as of yet) but I completely support his right to participate in the debates.

Big Dog

UPDATE: It appears as if Ron Paul will be part of the debate in New Hampshire. After posting this Drudge put up a story that did not make it clear as to whether he had been included or not. I checked the ABC site and he is listed as part of it. Duncan Hunter will not be invited. If he is still in he should be allowed to debate.

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