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ABC News announces criteria for Feb. 6 Republican debate

Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump gestures towards rivals Senator Marco Rubio (L) and Senator Ted Cruz (R) during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston, South Carolina, January 14, 2016.

Randall Hill/Reuters

ABC News on Wednesday announced the criteria for its upcoming Republican presidential debate on Saturday, Feb. 6 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

There are three different ways candidates can make it onto the stage for the debate, which will be held just days before the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary.

First, a candidate can place among the top three candidates, ranked according to the popular vote, in the Iowa GOP caucuses on Monday.

Second, a candidate can qualify by placing among the top six candidates in an average of New Hampshire GOP presidential polls that are recognized by ABC News. Those polls must have been conducted no earlier than Jan. 1 and must be released before 5 p.m. ET next Friday.

And finally, another way a candidate can qualify for the debate is by placing among the top six candidates in an average of national GOP presidential polls recognize by ABC News. The same time limits for the polls listed above apply to this criterion as well.

This will be the first Republican debate without a separate undercard debate for lower-polling candidates.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.