During the first GOP presidential debate, moderators immediately put lead candidate Donald Trump to the test by challenging him on whether he would sign a pledge both to support the eventual GOP nominee and to refuse a third-party run.
Much to the vocal chagrin of the audience, Trump refused to take such a pledge citing the leverage he retained with the RNC by keeping the option alive.
But after weeks of intense pressure both from the Republican Party and from fellow candidates, Trump ended the speculation about a possible change in his tune by signing the pledge.
In a heavily promoted media event, Trump announced that the RNC has “treated him fairly” and that by signing the pledge he can best ensure the Republican Party is victorious next year.
Trump continues to lead the field of 17 candidates by an average of 27% in the RealClearPolitics polling trends, and in one recent poll released this week has broken the 30-percent mark.
Questions and projections are beginning to emerge in the race concerning whether his lead could extend further as many of the lower tier candidates are expected to drop out of the race after a failure to make the cut for the second GOP debate scheduled less than two weeks from today.