Next Tuesday’s GOP debate in Milwaukee will be the smallest yet for the 2016 Republican field, as Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie were moved down to the pre-debate forum, leaving eight Republicans on the main stage for a debate run by the Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal.
As lower poll numbers moved Huckabee and Christie down one notch, two other Republican candidates were not invited – as George Pataki and Lindsey Graham won’t be at this fourth GOP debate.
Christie was ready for the bad news.
Still, it was a blow to the campaigns of both Christie and Huckabee, as they have been unable to bust their way out of the bottom tier of Republican candidates.
The first and third GOP debates had 10 people on the main stage; the second was even larger at 11, so eight will give the main Republican players even more air time.
One interesting note about the above lineup is that it will place Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush right next to each other.
Bush has been dropping steadily since the first debate, while Rubio has established himself as a threat to win the GOP nomination.