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Gay GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger is one poll closer to breaking into the party's debate and onto national television.
Karger was favored by 1% of Republican voters in a Zogby poll released Thursday -- a number that ties him with Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House. He is just one percentage point behind former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former senator Rick Santorum. But Karger is really after something larger. Rules for debates have required candidates to average 1% in five national polls before they can stand behind a podium with the rest of the candidates, and so far Karger has been excluded.
"We're almost there," Karger said in a statement. "This is now the third poll in just the past couple of months where I am averaging the magic 1%. For a first-time candidate, who has not raised millions of dollars, I am ecstatic about the results. Now we just need to score in two more polls and I will be standing on the stage on Ames, Iowa, next month with the other candidates."
Karger is refererring to an August 11 candidate debate on Fox News, which requires the poll results for qualification.