A campaign full of surprises

As for the Trump phenomenon, a lot of people are still digesting it. The question has evolved from “Will he have an impact?” to “Can he really win the nomination?” to “Could he actually be elected president?” Philip Klein in the Washington Examiner had a smart piece suggesting Mr. Trump may have reached his peak; assuming his lead holds, it will seem less impressive as candidates begin to drop out and others consolidate their positions. That is possible, as is this: that as people watch Mr. Trump and get used to the idea of him they’ll come to see things they like in his candidacy. No one knows, because we’re in new territory, with a rogue real-estate developer and reality-TV star as a prime presidential prospect.

A source of Mr. Trump’s strength is that normal people understand how big donors have an impact on policy. Mr. Trump can stand where the people stand on such issues as immigration because the donor class doesn’t have hooks in him. “I’m turning down so much money,” he told reporters last week at the Iowa State Fair. If he accepted a big contribution, “I’d feel obligated, because I’m a loyal person.” On the other hand, “Jeb Bush is a puppet to his donors.” On Thursday this newspaper’s Heather Haddon reported that some major GOP donors are growing impatient with GOP candidates who’ve withdrawn their support for Common Core. But Common Core is not popular, and they are trying to survive. I remember when donors just wanted dinner, or an ambassadorship. Now they want policy. Someone, not just Mr. Trump, should bop them hard.