Washington — Gov. Bobby Jindal will appear on the early “undercard” debate Tuesday among Republican presidential candidates on national television, the fourth consecutive time he has failed to qualify for the prime-time debate featuring contenders ranking higher in the polls, the Fox Business News network announced Thursday.
Joining Jindal at 5 p.m. for the warm-up event in Milwaukee will be former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania.
FBN awarded slots in its featured, 8 p.m. debate to candidates scoring 2.5 percent or higher in an average of the four most recent national polls conducted through Wednesday. Making the cut were real-estate developer and reality-TV celebrity Donald Trump, of New York; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, of Maryland; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida; U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, of California; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, of Kentucky.
Jindal has appeared in the earlier forum in each of the three previous nationally televised debates among Republican candidates, as he has met the minimum standard for participation but not the higher mark required for a prime-time appearances, based on national polls.
The previous Republican debates were telecast on Fox News, on Aug. 6; on CNN, on Sept. 16; and on CNBC, on Oct. 28. The first two debates drew record numbers of viewers for the cable networks televising the events: around 24 million for each of the prime-time debates. The first two undercard debates each were watched by about 6 million people. Those numbers fell off with the CNBC debate, to 14 million for the featured event and 1.6 million for the undercard.
Failing to meet the FBN minimum participation threshold of 1 percent or better in any of the four polls were U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, of South Carolina, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Graham and Pataki appeared with Jindal and Santorum in the happy-hour debates on CNN and CNBC, while Huckabee and Christie made the prime-time stage in each of the three earlier debates. The first Fox News undercard included Jindal, Santorum, Graham, Pataki, Fiorina, Gilmore and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who subsequently dropped out of the race.
Jindal, 44, is barred by state law from a third term as governor, starting in January.