Pundits from every part of the political spectrum remain flummoxed by his success. But they've been looking at Trump as though he were an ordinary political candidate. It's actually not all that shocking that the reality TV show host and tabloid favorite raced to top of the Republican field in late July and stayed there.
To be fair, no other politician would last long were they to behave like Trump. The bombastic pronouncements, rude insults, and outrageous positions would result in a quick exit.
But not only has this behavior not hurt Trump, it's part of his winning formula.
That makes Trump a sensation – ideal for cable news channels hungry for ratings and sharing on social media.
In many ways, Trump really is in the right place at the right time to make his run for the White House.
Here's what I mean…
What's Behind the Donald Trump 2016 Election Campaign Success
One unusual aspect of the 2016 presidential election race is that it has very much been about "outsiders" – people with little or no elected experience, or who otherwise reject the political establishment.
In the Real Clear Politics poll average, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) CEO Carly Fiorina sit right behind Trump. On the Democratic side, nonconformist Bernie Sanders has gone from hopeless underdog to legitimate contender.
Trump rose to the top quickly because of his near-universal name recognition – the result of being in the public eye since the early 1980s.