If you told me a year ago that Donald Trump would be a leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination, I would have chuckled in disbelief. Then, if you told me that Donald Trump would still be a leading GOP candidate after skipping the final debate before the Iowa Caucus, I would have laughed.

Yet, that’s exactly what happened, and it doesn’t surprise me at all at this point. Last week, Mr. Trump decided to skip the GOP Presidential Debate in Iowa hosted by Fox News, after a series of jabs back and forth between him and the network that resulted from his campaign’s efforts to bump Megyn Kelly from the moderator’s seat.

Deemed an incredibly risky move by political pundits, and downright childish by his opponents, Trump opened himself up for a litany of criticism  that he would not be able to defend on the primetime stage. Despite his absence, Trump still maintained control of the overarching narrative surrounding the debate. Megyn Kelly kicked things off by addressing the “elephant not in the room” and the candidates on stage repeatedly made references nonattendance. He also dominated the conversation about the debate on Twitter.

In skipping the debate, Trump is continuing to build a substantial base of supporters who are fed up with the current state of American politics, and hoping for a leader who isn’t afraid to say what apparently needs to be said. Many of these supporters view traditionally conservative outlets, such as Fox News, as moving toward the center and mainstream media. In their view, Trump is doing what he has always done – standing up to wealthy news corporations on behalf of the American people.

Furthermore, Trump’s successful fundraiser for veterans’ groups, in which he raised over $6 million and attracted tons of media attention in lieu of attending the debate, sends the message that he is willing to risk his own political success for the issues that matter most to voters.

It will be interesting to see how the Iowa Caucus plays out, but one thing is for certain – Donald Trump has not lost any momentum going into Monday’s vote.