As the first Republican presidential debate approaches on Thursday, the GOP’s long shots have been working frantically to qualify for the event. The candidates need at least an average of 1 percent in the five most recent national polls to make it onto the debate stage. While some primary contenders, like Ben Carson and Donald Trump, are nearing that criteria, others have been struggling to get the required poll numbers.
To help their cases, some of the lesser-known candidates, led by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, have been buying advertisement to raise awareness of their campaigns. In addition, they’ve been making media rounds, trying to draw in more supporters and win over potential donors.
With the clock ticking, the candidates in the back of the pack have to seriously decide if their budget and resources is best being spent on getting the precious poll points or hunkering down at their campaign offices. As Perry affirmed recently, it is “all about getting poll numbers” at this stage.
In the face of growing pressure, the long-shot candidates have little choice but to race against the clock, hoping their investments in scarce exposure will pay off before Thursday’s debate.