Washington (CNN)Fox News is making it easier for Republican presidential candidates who don't make the cut for the network's August 6 prime-time debate to get at least some attention in an earlier event.
Fox News tweaks debate rules, helps trailing candidates
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A network spokeswoman confirmed to CNN Tuesday that it is dropping the mandate that candidates earn at least 1% support in an average of the five most recent national polls in order to qualify for its 5 p.m. debate -- an appetizer before the main event, an evening debate for the top 10 highest polling candidates.
Fox News executive vice president Michael Clemente first told Politico of the change, saying in a statement that it's due to "overwhelming interest" in the event.
The change is helpful for a handful of candidates, including businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki, who are all hovering around 1% in recent polls.