The establishment begins to think the unthinkable: Trump could actually win

Rollins is not alone in his views. “Trump has sustained a lead for longer than there are days left” before voting begins in Iowa, says Steve Schmidt, who managed John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “For a long time,” Schmidt says, “you were talking to people in Washington, and there was a belief that there was an expiration date to this, as if there’s some secret group of people who have the ability to control the process.”

But for Trump, a dip in the polls after the second debate that many predicted was the beginning of the end has arrested; and for nearly four months, he has remained at the top of the polls. Now, long-time GOP strategists who were expecting Trump’s act to wear thin a couple of months ago worry that he can’t be stopped, or at least that he has a significant chance of winning the nomination…

“I know all of us dismissed Trump, early on, all of the so-called experts,” Fox News’s Chris Wallace said Sunday. “‘Summer fling,’ ‘momentary amusement.’” But Wallace, who interviewed Trump late last week and aired portions of the interview on his show Sunday, said he finds himself feeling differently now. “As I watched that interview and I heard what he had to say . . . I am beginning to believe he could be elected president of the United States,” he said…

Over the past few weeks, the Trump campaign has begun at least to hint that it is interested in rounding out the picture of its candidate. Trump’s four children opened up to People magazine about their father for an article published earlier this month; on the cover, Trump shared the spotlight with his wife and his youngest son, Barron. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and his son, Eric, have begun making television appearances on behalf of their father. (Showing that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, the younger Trump told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren last week: “Everything he touches turns to gold.”) Profiles of Trump’s wife, the former Melania Knauss, and of Ivanka, published in the New York Times and Politico magazine, respectively, have also provided glimpses of Trump the family man.