They certainly weren’t expecting this.
The Fox Business Network, in preparation for their upcoming Republican primary debate, recently announced the lineups for the event.
In what came as a shock to some, two popular candidates were booted from the main stage and shuffled down to the opening “undercard” debate for those candidates polling exceptionally low, according to Breitbart.
Those two candidates were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will join former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gove. Bobby Jindal in the first debate.
Completely absent from the debates this time will be South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki, neither of whom have been polling at even one percent recently.
The requirement to reach the main stage for the Fox Business debate was for candidates to hold at least 2.5 percent support in four major polls, which Christie and Huckabee were unable to do.
The main event debate has now been trimmed down to eight candidates, including billionaire businessman Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Christie seemed to take the news in stride, posting on Twitter, “It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues like this,” and sharing a clip of himself talking about the problems of drug addiction.
While both Christie and Huckabee are excellent debaters and should be capable of winning the undercard event, there are nevertheless some worries surrounding their campaigns now, as being booted off the main stage certainly doesn’t look good.