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Donald Trump has dominated early coverage of the 2016 presidential election. The GOP frontrunner has led the field in headline-grabbing quotes and polarizing comments. His brand is on fire right now; everyone wants to know the latest thing he's said and what he'll be up to next.
The master businessman is fully aware of the power his brand possesses. Donald Trump says he's the reason people have been tuning in to the televised debates, and he isn't wrong. Now Trump is using his notoriety to make an unprecedented deal with CNN.
Threatening not to show up to the next GOP debate unless CNN forks over $5 million for veterans is yet another marketing ploy that gives Trump another trending spot in social media. CNN stands to lose a lot of viewership if Trump backs out of the debate, which puts them in a tough position leading up to the event.
As Trump continues to leave the rest of the GOP field in the dust, other candidates are using his brand to give their own campaigns a much-needed boost. Since the frontrunner's appearance as host of Saturday Night Live, lesser known candidates have cried foul. The FCC's 'equal time' rule guarantees candidates will be given equal air time on television, and candidates like Mike Huckabee, Lindsay Graham, and John Kasich have demanded they be given air time on NBC.
It's pretty clear that Trump is here to stay at this point. His brand is so successful that other candidates are exploiting it to keep their own campaigns above water. If The Donald's success continues to build, the road to November 4 will be one exciting ride.