At long last the first Republican presidential debate is finally here – although when you have seventeen candidates running for your party’s nomination, “circus” is really a much better word for it. Especially when you factor in just how inept Fox News has been at figuring out how the heck they’re going to conduct a debate with this many candidates.
As Rachel Maddow brilliantly explained Monday evening, we’re just a few days away from the event and American’s most watched conservative entertainment network still hasn’t really said how they plan to pick the candidates who’ll appear on stage or even which polls they’re going to use to make that decision.
As she pointed out, in almost every poll the vast majority of candidates fall within that poll’s margin of error, which for credible polls is typically +/- 3 percent. Meaning that if Ted Cruz is polling at 5 percent and Ben Carson is polling at 2 percent, they’re technically at a statistical tie based upon the margin of error – which makes it impossible to really determine who the “top 10” candidates are when all but three or four fall within the margin of error.
Yet, here we are, just a few days away and even the candidates themselves don’t even really know what’s going on.
“It’s this week!,” Maddow exclaimed, mocking Fox News’ bumbling of the entire process.
She then went on to discuss how several national polling places are either suspending polling leading up to the debate or including text in their new polls explaining how margin of error works as to point out that the results for many of these candidates show they’re statistically tied.
It is absurd that we’re just two days away from this first debate and Fox News has kept practically everyone in the dark as to how they’re going to select the candidates who are allowed to participate in the first step toward electing a new president.
That’s the harsh truth of it; this debate isn’t just some random right-wing event. This is a legitimate presidential primary debate being hosted by America’s highest rated cable news channel – and it’s an absolute mess.
But the saddest part is, this isn’t overly complicated. As Maddow pointed out towards the end of the segment, they could still just set-up two events with a random process to select which candidates would be a part of which event. That way no one is left out.
It’s really not that complicated, yet Fox News has managed to completely botch this whole thing.
Then again, should we have expected anything less? After all, with Donald Trump as the leading candidate this is quite literally a political circus filled with seventeen clowns and Fox News is one of the GOP’s biggest ringleaders.
Watch the segment below via MSNBC: