Fox News has settled on how to address a sticky problem facing the Republican Party: how to limit the number of presidential candidates allowed to participate in the party's first primary debate.
Fox has decided that only the top 10 GOP candidates, as determined by the average of the five most recent national polls ahead of the Aug. 6 event, will be secured a place on the stage, according to a news release. The news was first reported by the Washington Post.
Under the latest Real Clear Politics average of national polls, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.S.C., would not make the cut. But the poll averages are very close. Fiorina, Jindal and Graham each are polling at 1.3 percent, and they trail Kasich's 2.0 percent.
While the decision may anger those who fail to crack the top 10, the Republican National Committee said it's fine with the call.
"We support and respect the decision Fox has made which will match the greatest number of candidates we have ever had on a debate stage," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said.
If Fox's decision were applied today, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would just barely make the cut with his 2.3 percent polling level.
There are currently six Republicans who have announced official presidential campaigns but there are about a dozen more potential candidates who may declare their own White House intentions by the time of the debate.
Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are all officially candidates, as are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Everyone in this group would make the Fox News cut except Fiorina.
The latest Real Clear Politics average of national polls shows Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as the current frontrunners of the still-forming GOP field. Neither Bush nor Walker has officially declared their candidacies.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry would also make the cut.
The Fox debate will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, and air from 9-11 p.m. ET. It will be anchored by Fox's Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.
Candidates who wish to participate will also be required to have officially announced their campaign, filed the appropriate paperwork, and paid any necessary fees to the Federal Election Commission.