New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner watches at left as Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, with wife Mary Pat, gets ready to sign papers to be on the nation’s earliest presidential primary ballot, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, at The Secretary of State’s office in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
By JULIE PACE, AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) — For months, Republican presidential candidates with dwindling bank accounts and negligible support in polls have been finding reasons to stay in the 2016 race.
Now, a few must weigh whether they can keep competing after being downgraded or excluded from next Tuesday’s fourth GOP debate. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have been bumped to the undercard debate because of low poll numbers, while South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki didn’t qualify for either event.
Each of the candidates has vowed to stay in the race, keeping the Republican contest crowded with just under three months until the Iowa caucus kicks off the nominating process. Fifteen Republicans are still running for president.
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