Sure, it seems insane for any candidate–even a frontrunner–to consider skipping the final debate before the Iowa Caucus, but Donald Trump is not your typical candidate. If Jeb! Bush or Marco Rubio led Iowa with a week to go and decided to skip the final debate, it might be considered a fatal mistake, costing the candidate not only Iowa, but other early states as well. However, Trump continues to prove his impervious to the usual traps that ensnarl campaigns and cost candidates elections. No, Trump continues to win and his defiance may be the reason why.
Trump’s entrance into the race last summer (has it really been that long?) defied logic. His campaign kickoff speech, filled with grotesque words about Latinos and undocumented workers was equally baffling. Surely, no one serious about winning the presidency would say these things and think they’ll win, right? But Trump’s poll numbers shot through the roof. Nothing he’s said or done since that fateful day have affected Trump’s numbers. The only thing that’s truly changed is the candidate nipping at his heels, and who stands to his left and right during debates. Trump, however, has remained front and center at every debate, and through every gaffe, ramble, and scoff, Trump reigns supreme.
So why skip the final debate before real votes are cast?