ABC debate rules will keep several GOP candidates off the stage

GOP candidates debate
ABC News has set the criteria for its upcoming GOP presidential debate

Republicans, say goodbye to the undercard debates.

Next week's ABC News Republican primary debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, will feature just one debate, and that debate is likely to exclude several bottom-tier candidates, CNNMoney has learned.

For the first time in the GOP debate season there will not be what has been called the "junior varsity," "the kids' table" or the "warm up" debate.

The criteria for the February 6 debate, which is set to be released Wednesday afternoon, will exclude any candidate who does not finish in the top-three in the Iowa caucuses or in the top six either nationally or in New Hampshire.

At present, such criteria would likely keep Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum off the debate stage -- unless they can pull their numbers up in the days ahead.

Related: Donald Trump and Fox at war: Neither side is backing down

The forthcoming criteria from ABC News is as follows: Candidates must do one of the following:

-- Place among the top three candidates ranked according to the popular vote in the Iowa Republican caucuses on February 1, 2016.

-- Place among the top six candidates in an average of New Hampshire Republican presidential polls recognized by ABC News. To be included, polls must be conducted no earlier than January 1, 2016, and must be released to the public before 5 p.m. ET on February 4, 2016. Poll averages will not be rounded.

-- Place among the top six candidates in an average of national Republican presidential polls recognized by ABC News. To be included, polls must be conducted no earlier than January 1, 2016, and must be released to the public before 5 p.m. ET on February 4, 2016. Poll averages will not be rounded.

Related: Donald Trump will skip Fox News debate on Thursday

The February 6 debate takes place just three days before voters in the Granite State head to the polls.

ABC News anchors David Muir and Martha Raddatz will moderate the debate, along with WMUR Political Director Josh McElveen. The Independent Journal Review is also a media partner in the debate.

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