As polls closed Wednesday, it became clear who will be in the fourth Republican JV debate. Fox Business is hosting the next GOP debate on Nov. 10, and the crowded competition will once again feature grown-ups' and kids' table debates, with candidates polling above 2.5 percent in the primetime event and anyone else polling above 1 percent relegated to the second-tier debate. Fox Business' announcement of who was in which debate provided some interesting surprises.
No single event has really shaken up the race, but with the one-year countdown to Election Day officially started, voters must be starting to jump ship from non-starter candidates. Public Policy Polling reports that support for Lindsey Graham has slipped below 1 percent and completely evaporated for George Pataki and Jim Gilmore, the latter of whom didn't qualify for either of the last two undercard debates. This time around, Graham, Pataki, and Gilmore will not be participating in any debate at all.
Meanwhile, Bobby Jindal has been stuck on the JV team for the last three debates and been very vocal about how much he hates it. No one besides Fiorina has managed to move up from the kids' table, and it's unlikely at this point that anyone else will pull it off.
The final determination of who gets placed where was made from averaging the results of four national polls through Nov. 4. According to Politico, the main segment will include Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, and, surprisingly, John Kasich. This means the JV debate will feature Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal.
The overcrowding of the field has lead to grumpy candidates and feisty moderators. The Republicans aren't happy about their opening statements getting cut or the overly antagonistic questions, but when underperforming candidates like Lindsey Graham, who has yet to break 1 percent in the polls, still refuse to give up the race, media outlets have to try to save time and create drama within the field. Both the varsity and JV teams will have shrunk — marginally, but still a real difference. If the field is really starting to clear, there might not even be a kids' table for the fifth debate at all.