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Trump's Terms? Could Trump Take GOP Debate Rules into his own Hands?

It’s another case of Trump confounding attempts to control him by betting on his own outsized influence in the field.
Image: Republican presidential candidate Trump speaks during a campaign rally
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the USS Wisconsin battleship in Norfolk, Virginia October 31, 2015. JOSHUA ROBERTS / Reuters

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Donald Trump’s campaign said they have no problem going it alone when it comes to negotiating debate parameters, which means candidates should expect more questions about which polls Donald Trump is winning.

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The Washington Post reports - and NBC’s Katy Tur confirms - that Donald Trump’s campaign says it’s got no qualms going it alone when it comes to negotiating with TV networks about the parameters of future debates. Trump, who openly boasted during the CNBC debate that he single-handedly renegotiated the timing of the primetime show, may have some leverage here. There’s no question that interest in the televised contests is dramatically higher this cycle, and he’s unlikely to be punished by the base for bashing the media and the RNC and refusing a partnership with Telemundo. But it’s another case of Trump confounding attempts to control him by betting on his own outsized influence in the field.. Whether it was getting the RNC to come to him for his signing of his GOP loyalty pledge or threatening to boycott a debate, Trump again and again calculates that he’s too big to fail. The downside for him -- if, *if* he starts to deflate, his ability to influence the process questions that obviously irk him will evaporate very fast.

NERD ALERT: We have some fresh new NBC/WSJ poll numbers coming out at 6:30pm ET. Tune in to NBC Nightly News to find out the latest.

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A Monmouth University poll out today shows Rubio on the rise in New Hampshire, but Trump still on top and Carson in second.

TRUMP: Trump and his team will negotiate directly with television executives and take a lead role negotiating debates for the GOP candidates, the Washington Post reports.

LESSIG: He is ending his Democratic presidential campaign.


“He’s the youngest but I have never seen any human being sweat like that.”

  • Donald Trump dinging Marco Rubio while discussing proposed changes to the presidential debates in an interview with Bloomberg Politics.


Hillary Clinton holds town halls in Iowa.

Jeb Bush campaigns in South Carolina and New Hampshire. John Kasich is in Iowa.

It’s Election Day! Gubernatorial elections take place in Kentucky and Mississippi.