SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates participate in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Donald Trump's presidential campaign has defied logic.
Brazen statements that GOP lawmakers thought would alienate potential voters - building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, telling a Jewish crowd that he's a "negotiator just like you folks," and, most recently, proposing a ban of all Muslims entering the country - have instead catapulted Trump to an ever-growing lead in most national polls.
Trump Leads Cruz by 27%
A Monmouth University poll release Monday has the real estate magnate leading Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by 27 percent in a poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters. "Trump is tapping into the phenomenon," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "The more he says things that make the Republican leaders cringe, the more he attracts people to his side."
The survey come a day before the GOP holds their last primary debate of 2015; one which may divide the Party into non-Trump and Trump supporters.
Every prominent Republican candidate has denounced Trump's rhetoric in one way or another. Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio - who place second and third in most national polls, respectively - immediately distanced themselves from Trump's plan to stop Muslims from entering, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said it's the kind of proposal that people say "when they have no experience and have no idea what they're talking about."
On Tuesday night, Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Christie will join the same Oval Office hopefuls they've grown accustom to debating over the last few months. CNN hosts its second of the election cycle, this time from the Venetian in Las Vegas, Nev.
Event Begins with First Debate [Minor]
Online coverage begins at 6 p.m. EST with a "first debate" featuring Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and New York Gov. George Pataki.
When: Dec. 15, 2015
Where: The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nev.
Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
Live stream: CNN.com, CNN app
Moderator: Wolf Blitzer, CNN Chief Political correspondent Dana Bash, radio show host Hugh Hewitt
Participants: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich