There's no question that Donald Trump's rise to prominence in American politics has been riddled with controversy. No sooner had he announced his candidacy than he began to say inflammatory things about minority groups, his opponents and other countries. Indeed, it seems at stages that his only political strategy is to offend as many people as possible.
But uncouth comments and would-be gaffes aside, it appears that Trump can do no wrong – at least for the most part. Saying controversial inevitably garners more media coverage, to the extent that the Republican frontrunner has earned what amounts to US$2 billion in media coverage.
Virtually all candidates pay for some amount of coverage in the media, and it's quite typical for their paid coverage to exceed their earned coverage. But Trump has completely turned this paradigm on its head. Not only has he barely purchased any airtime at all; he's also earning 2.5 times the media coverage of the next-closest candidate, Hillary Clinton.
It's Not All Good News for Trump
But even as it appears that Trump can do no wrong, it is becoming clear that there may be some upper limit to what he can achieve with his brash and over-the-top campaign. Whilst his rhetoric earns him plenty of media coverage and certainly serves to fire up his base of supporters, it also appears to be taking its toll on his campaign – at least in certain circles.
For example, Trump's recent failure to secure the nomination in the Wisconsin primary was due – at least in part – to his consistent demonising of women. While in other states, this aspect of his personality has been either ignored or explained away as a necessary by-product of being a person who ‘tells it like it is', it appeared to injure his campaign a bit in Wisconsin.
Is this All Part of the Plan for Trump?
For many, the question remains of whether this is all part of the plan for Donald Trump? Is he representative of the elite, power-hungry class tracked by David Icke, or is he more of a rogue candidate simply feeding his own ego and narcissism.
It is certainly difficult to discern to what level Trump is willing to take his campaign. In its earliest stages, it was difficult to find anyone who believed that the campaign would last more than a few days or weeks. No one took him seriously.
But he has seemingly weathered one rough patch after another, persistently climbing through the polls and seemingly landing on his feet when other candidates would have fallen. Even so, it appears that the controversy may have finally outgrown the candidate's ability to weather his self-induced storms.
Today, there are plenty of media outlets heralding the end of the Trump campaign. They're pointing to flagging pool numbers in key states, and the near inevitability of entering into a brokered convention. But one can't help but wonder if this is simply wishful thinking from the same folks who have underestimated Trump and his influence from the beginning.