In any other presidential election, serious front-runner candidates would be prepping their talking points for the first presidential debate, and the American public would be treated to 90 minutes of meaningful discussion of issues and the occasional gaffe. Instead, each candidate in the crowded Republican field is vying to make their voice heard and gain one of the coveted spots in Fox’s televised debate. To qualify, multiple undisclosed national polls must rank the candidate in the top 10. But because the electorate is divided between 17 candidates, it is almost impossible to determine who should get the bottom two or three spots. For candidates polling in the 1%-3% range, even a minor bump from a headline or a flame war with Donald trump can mean the difference between being a viable prime time candidate or having to sit at the kid's table in a separate, smaller debate. Speaking of which, The Donald is now poised to occupy center stage at the debate based on his recent polling. And herein lies the problem: instead of candidates with legitimate governing experience being selected for the debate, a poll-based selection process favors the boorish, loud, and media-savvy candidates. What this serves to do is artificially cut out legitimate candidates and encourages the use of inflammatory rhetoric to secure a spot on the stage.