We tend to take it for granted, but it really is remarkable how thoroughly Trump has dominated the Republican race so far.
He has gotten far more earned media than everyone else and on top of that, almost every time another candidate gets on TV, he or she has to talk about Trump. I wonder, for instance, how many times Rick Perry was on TV the last few months when he wasn’t asked at least once about Trump.
Trump is not just leading every single poll (as he likes to tell us), he has flipped around his favorable-unfavorable ratings in an unprecedented way.
He is driving the conversation on the agenda. It’s not true, as he insists, that no one would be talking about illegal immigration if he weren’t in the race, but there’s no doubt immigration looms much larger as an issue because of him, as does everything else he talks about.
He is holding rallies many times larger than other Republican candidates can hope to muster–perhaps another 20,000 in Dallas tonight.
It’s been an incredible performance.
That said, despite all these advantages, he only has a narrow lead over Ben Carson in Iowa, where you don’t expect brash New Yorkers who are uncomfortable talking about the Bible to naturally thrive (I give Ted Cruz better odds of winning there than Trump). And it’s still early.