Trump on Power: ‘It’s Not the Polls. It’s the Ratings’

By Mark Joyella 

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who will return to the Fox News debate stage–and face FNC host Megyn Kelly–tonight, tells TIME magazine the key to power in presidential politics is simple: TV ratings.

In a cover story, Trump says the candidate who controls the conversation wins. “It’s ratings. I go on one of these shows and the ratings double. They triple. And that gives you power. It’s not the polls. It’s the ratings.”

And tonight gives Trump another turn at center stage, as the remaining Republicans try to catch or stop him from locking up the GOP nomination. Aboard his private jet, TIME’s David Von Drehle describes watching Trump watching himself on cable news:

Trump walks over and perches at the end, takes up the remote and begins toggling from one all-news station to another. What happens next is simply remarkable. For the entire hour-long flight from Virginia to southern Georgia, nearly every minute of every broadcast is focused exclusively on him. Sure, he’s rich, but still: this guy, this slightly beefy macher from an outer New York City borough with a head for numbers and the gift of gab, is the only news in the world?