I know you're all as shocked as I am to discover that Roger Ailes massaged which final debate polls to use to decide who the top ten should be. Awhile ago I remarked that there was no way he'd leave Kasich out in the cold. He likes Kasich. Perry, not so much,
And so it came to pass that Perry got sent to the kids' table and Kasich was invited to hang with the adults. But in order for that to happen, it was imperative that Ailes ignore the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll which had Kasich in a virtual tie with Rick Perry and instead use the Quinnipiac poll, an older poll which had Kasich in front of Perry by a couple of percentage points.
Rachel Maddow explains the whole sorry mess. It's rather long, but entertaining nevertheless.
Why didn't Ailes and his sidekick Bill Sammon just say they would choose the top ten however they wanted? Because it's all about the entertainment value, baby.