The Second Republican Debate: Fiorina Makes the Cut in Field of 11

An eleventh podium is getting added to the stage for Carly Fiorina.

September 10, 2015, 8:41 PM
PHOTO: Republican presidential candidates debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.
Republican presidential candidates from left, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Kasich take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.
Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

— -- The stage is set for round two.

The Republican presidential contenders are just a week from facing off under the lights on the second debate stage. But this time, the stage will be a little more crowded, according to the list released by CNN on Thursday night.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will be joining the main debate stage after a last-minute rules change by CNN. The mainstage debate will include the 10 candidates who are polling the top 10 in an average of national polls since mid-July. To account for the late boost in the polls by Fiorina after her strong performance in the Fox News undercard debate last month, CNN decided to add any candidate who is polling in the top 10 since the first debate, paving the way for Fiorina to join.

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is still by far the national frontrunner in the Republican Party. The cable network will be hosting its main debate at 8 p.m. for the top 11 candidates, as well as a second-string debate for 5 candidates who are low in the polls at 6 p.m. next Wednesday.

One candidate – Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore – did not receive an invitation to the debate stage after failing to garner an average of 1 percent in three national polls.

A Gilmore campaign aide told ABC News on Thursday afternoon that his campaign had not received an invitation and that he had been in talks with CNN about how rounding numbers might be effecting his eligibility.

Averages are according to an ABC News analysis of recent polls according to CNN’s original debate criteria, averaging national polls since mid-July.

The main stage will include:

1. Donald Trump (23.9 percent)

2. Jeb Bush (11.5 percent)

3. Scott Walker (9.4 percent)

4. Ben Carson (8.9 percent)

5. Ted Cruz (6.3 percent)

6. Marco Rubio (5.6 percent)

7. Mike Huckabee (5.6 percent)

8. Rand Paul (4.7 percent)

9. John Kasich (3.3 percent)

10. Chris Christie (3.1 percent)

11. Carly Fiorina (2.1 percent)

A podium was added for Fiorina because she is currently in a tie for seventh place with an average of 4.4 percent in national polls since the first debate.

The undercard debate will include:

12. Rick Perry (1.8 percent)

13. Rick Santorum (1.2 percent)

14. Bobby Jindal (1.0 percent)

15. Lindsey Graham (0.4 percent)

16. George Pataki (0.1 percent)

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