Election 2016

Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee Won't Be on the Main Stage in the Next GOP Debate

Only eight candidates will compete in next week's primetime debate on Fox Business.


Fox Business just released the candidates who will be in the next GOP debate on November 10. There are some big changes. Only eight candidates will be in the primetime debate. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Fox News host and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee didn't make the cut. 

Donald Trump and Ben Carson, meanwhile, will still be center stage. 

Here's the Fox Business graphic showing what the main stage will look like. 

Fox Business

I can't say I'm too disappointed about the smaller cast. Fewer candidates will (hopefully) give the chaotic events a little more breathing room. And the two candidates to get the boot weren't exactly crucial to the events so far. 

It's not just that neither Huckabee nor Christie really had a shot. It's that neither brought all that much to the debate. Huckabee is a feisty, folksy talk-show type with a gift for just-inflammatory-enough rhetoric whose general unseriousness about policyand heavy appeal to evangelicals adds almost nothing on a stage with Ben Carson, while Christie is an authoritarian drug warrior whose message about the need to reform budgets and entitlements is carried as well or better by folks like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and even Jeb Bush. 

There will be changes at the undercard debate early in the evening as well. In addition to the inclusion of former main-stagers Huckabee and Christie, neither South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham nor former New York Gov. George Pataki will appear. 

Basically, we're starting to see the field shake out, with lesser performers either cut entirely or relegated to the smaller stage. And in the process, we're getting a better sense of who will be left standing as the field inevitably narrows over the next few months.