Allies of at least four long-shot Republican presidential hopefuls are planning to blitz Iowa and New Hampshire with paid advertisements in the coming week with the hope of cutting through the clutter of a 17-candidate field. The ads are being paid for by super PACs with one thing in common: The candidates they support are in danger of failing to qualify for the first presidential debate, scheduled for Aug. 6.
"]W]e are one month out from the first debate which the Republican Party and the Fox News Channel say will only include ten Republican candidates based on who places highest in national polling. The Republican primary debates will exclude five, or six or seven, maybe more serious candidates purely on the basis of their national poll numbers. [...] "So, forget how you're doing in Iowa, or New Hampshire or South Carolina. Forget how you're doing with endorsements, forget how you're doing with money, forget how you're doing with anything. National poll numbers, that's it."