Rivals figure out how to undercut Trump

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Media Outlet: CNN.com

In the first half of the CNN Republican debate Wednesday, Donald Trump succeeded in his basic campaign strategy: make the entire contest about him. When most people were watching, Trump was continually a focal point of the discussion. Early on he launched a series of ad hominem attacks, like telling Rand Paul he shouldn't even be on the stage and making quips about his looks. This has been his strategy since entering the race -- constantly attack and constantly be attacked.

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Julian Zelizer is a fellow in New America's Political Reform program. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and writes a weekly column for CNN.com.