GOP presidential candidates await announcement of who is invited to first Fox News debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The jam-packed Republican presidential field will shrink considerably for the first formal debate of the 2016 primary season when Fox News announces Tuesday which 10 presidential hopefuls will participate.

The exclusive club will feature notable omissions.

All but three of the 17 major Republican candidates for president participated in a New Hampshire forum Monday night that what was essentially a debate warmup. Only the GOP’s top 10 candidates — based on national polls — will be allowed in Thursday’s nationally televised debate in Cleveland.

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump’s place is assured given his rise in recent polls, but several high-profile Republicans are on the bubble.

They include the party’s only female presidential candidate — former technology executive Carly Fiorina — Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The seven major GOP candidates who don’t make the cut for the prime time 9 p.m. debate will be invited to participate in a debate at 5 p.m. Thursday, also aired on Fox News.

The 9 p.m. debate is scheduled to go for two hours and will be moderated by three Fox News hosts asking questions. Tune in to 95.3 MNC on your radio or online for a live broadcast of the debate at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6.

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