CLEVELAND, Ohio -- As the 10 Republican presidential candidates gear up for the first presidential debate, set for Thursday, August 6th in at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, crews are making last-minute preparations at the arena.
The wait is over to find out who will grace Fox News' prime-time debate stage on Thursday.
FOX News announced Tuesday the following candidates will participate:
- Donald Trump
- Jeb Bush
- Scott Walker
- Mike Huckabee
- Ben Carson
- Ted Cruz
- Marco Rubio
- Rand Paul
- Chris Christi
- John Kasich
The following six candidates will not be taking part:
- Rick Perry
- Rick Santorum
- Bobby Jindal
- Carly Fiorina
- Lindsey Graham
- George Pataki
- Jim Gilmore
Those six candidates will appear together during a debate earlier Thursday evening.
The debate in Cleveland marks the beginning of a new stage in the Republican nominating contest, where candidates will likely sharpen their first contrasts with one another and the field's front-runner, Trump.
The debates --- which gave new life to presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich in 2012 -- are now only open to the party's favorites. In a move backed by the Republican National Committee, FOX decided to rely on national polling data to split the group of contenders.
The decision means Perry, governor of Texas for 14 years, and Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2012, will take part in the earlier debate.
FOX News spokeswoman Irena Briganti said the five polls included in Fox's average were conducted by Bloomberg, CBS News, Fox News, Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University.
Those five were the most recent national polls from non-partisan, nationally recognized organizations, she said, using standard methodology.
Other factors: They used live interviewers, random digit-dial sampling techniques and included both landlines and cellphones and their GOP primary vote question mirrored the ballot by reading all candidate names in random order and without honorifics, according to the statement from FOX News.
For months, GOP hopefuls at the rear of the pack have undertaken aggressive tactics in hopes of finishing in the top 10 in national opinion surveys that FOX used to cull the 17-candidate fray.
Candidates like Perry and Graham in recent weeks have pursued increasingly attention-grabbing strategies in hopes of raising their public profiles and polling numbers.
"I look forward to being @FoxNews 5pm debate for what will be a serious exchange of ideas & positive solutions to get America back on track," Perry tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
CLICK HERE for further debate coverage via WJW in Cleveland.