Here we go again: Donald Trump is ridiculously inflating his influence on the Republican presidential campaign.

Trump, whose Dec. 27 debate was snubbed by five out of seven candidates last week, is now claiming that his debate has changed the entire direction of the race. Mitt Romney has fallen in the polls because he turned down Trump's invitation, the famously egocentric real-estate mogul said, and Newt Gingrich has shot up to the front-runner's spot because he said yes.

His [Romney's] numbers have gone down very substantially since he said no, and a lot of people think it's because it showed a lack of decisiveness or a lack of courage in going into this debate, Trump opined. And you look at what happened with Newt. Newt has gone up like a rocket ship.

There's just one problem with that argument: the poll trends Trump refers to -- Gingrich's rise and Romney's fall -- were evident before Trump even announced his debate on Dec. 2. All we have seen since then is a continuation of existing trends. Leave it to The Donald to take credit for that.

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