Of the 17 Republicans vying for the 2016 presidential nomination, just one so far has failed to make the cut for the next set of primary debates.
Every candidate except former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore has received an invitation to participate in one of the two September 16 debates hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and CNN, the network announced Tuesday. To qualify, the network said, candidates must reach an average of at least one percent in three national polls.
Given how many candidates are running for the GOP nomination, CNN and the Reagan Library will host two debates, as Fox and Facebook did last week. The main debate will include the 10 candidates with the highest poll numbers -- unless more candidates are disqualified in the next month. If 14 or fewer candidates qualify, CNN plans to include eight in the main debate.
Gilmore, who briefly sought the Republican nomination for president in 2007, was Virginia's chief executive during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and also served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer. From 1999 to 2003, he headed a Congressional advisory panel assessing U.S. response capabilities in the case of terror attacks involving weapons of mass destruction. After his first failed presidential bid, he ran for Senate in Virginia against Democrat Mark Warner in 2008 and lost by 31 percentage points.
Gilmore was invited to the so-called "happy hour" Fox News debate for the seven lowest-polling Republicans last week.