It's not as if the anti-establishment trend couldn't have been spotted. Pollster Fritz Wenzel knew it was dumb to go establishment even before Trump officially announced his candidacy.
Rand's failure to stand on principle and flip-flop on any issue was another problem. He simply looked too hungry for the 8-year throne, on top of his many strategic blunders.
That said, the rules CNN drew up for Tuesday's debate did nothing to help Rand get on the prime time debate stage. Indeed, it is unlikely Rand will be on that stage, but here is the thing, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina are polling worse than Rand nationally, but they will be on the big stage.
It is almost as though the rules were created in a way to keep Rand off the main stage, while allowing others with lower overall numbers to get on that stage.
Jim Gilmore at The Washington Post reveals what is going on:
The way it will work is as follows: In polls from a certain set of pollsters over a defined period of time, candidates must average 3.5 percentage points in national polling or 4 percent in either Iowa or New Hampshire polling in order to appear in the main debate...-RW
Think about that. Polling in Iowa largely reflects the national polling, save for Ted Cruz, whose national numbers only recently started to spike. Polling from New Hampshire, though, leans more heavily toward more moderate Republicans than are embraced in Iowa -- or by Republicans across the country. Without including New Hampshire, Kasich, Christie and Fiorina would leave the main event to the most popular Republicans running.
New Hampshire -- the little tiny state in the heart of New England -- is making sure that more moderate voices are present in the most-watched debate of the month, with an assist from CNN.