David McNew/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Cell phones, chainsaws and “cancer”: Some Republican candidates are pulling out all the stops in an effort to make the cut for the first presidential debate just one week from Thursday.
Fox News says that the top 10 candidates in an average of the five most recent national polls will get into the debate. The other seven will be left to a separate forum in the afternoon.
While Donald Trump has been dominating headlines in the last month, candidates near the bottom of the 17-person Republican presidential field have had limited media exposure and struggled to win over voters.
But that hasn’t stopped them from trying to draw media attention — and taking extreme measures in the next seven days to attract the cameras and headlines.
While Rand Paul isn’t on the cusp of missing out on the debate, the Kentucky senator is trying to claw his way into the top tier and recover the potential front runner status he had earlier in the race. Paul raised eyebrows with a new video, showing the presidential contender using a chainsaw to cut up the federal tax code. “How would you kill the tax code?” the video asks as an electric guitar riffs on the national anthem.
The former Texas governor, right on the cusp of being invited to the first debate, has been trying to use Trump to get into the headlines in the last several days, calling him a “cancer on conservatism” and a “toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.”
According to an ABC News analysis, Rick Perry is currently in 11th place in an average of five national polls, missing the final debate podium by just six-tenths of a percentage point.
Currently registering at less than 1 percent support in an ABC analysis of five recent national polls, the former HP executive faces an uphill climb to reach the first debate. But Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP field, turned to Buzzfeed to help her get her message out. The video, titled “If Men Were Treated Like Women In The Office,” features Fiorina asking male coworkers about baking and work-life balance.
The South Carolina senator comes in next-to-last in an ABC analysis of five recent national polls, but he rocketed into the headlines after Donald Trump released his phone number on national television. In response, Graham dropped his phone off a building, burned it, hit it with a golf club and hacked it with a meat cleaver.
Graham also has been campaigning with fellow Republican Sen. John McCain after Trump questioned whether the former POW was a war hero. Graham says using national polls to determine debate participation is unfair because it preempts the role of early states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Kasich is one of the newest candidates to the 2016 field, but he’s already making a move into the top 10. He just announced his presidential campaign last week — but the timing may work to his advantage. He registered at 5 percent in the latest Quinnipiac poll out Thursday morning, which leaves him hanging on by a thread to the final debate podium, according to an ABC News analysis of five recent national polls.
Jindal’s campaign manager pleaded his candidate’s case for the debates on Periscope last week, pointing out Jindal’s climbing favorability numbers in Iowa polls. Still, Jindal sits at just 1.4 percent support in our ABC News analysis — keeping him off the stage in a tie for 12th place.
Chris Christie’s “telling it like it is” brand is struggling to compete with the loud, headline-grabbing comments of Donald Trump. The New Jersey governor vented some of his frustration at the polls earlier this month, when a Monmouth University poll placed him in a tie for ninth place with just 2 percent support. “The Monmouth University poll was created just to aggravate me,” Christie said, according to Politico.
It isn’t likely that retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has to worry about missing the first debate, but that isn’t stopping him from sharing some of his operating tips. The Republican presidential contender shared his tips for the game Operation — in which a player must carefully remove objects from the patient’s body. “I think Obamacare probably would require a large deductible,” he says at the end of the video.
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