The anti-Trump cavalry that never came

Donald Trump was supposed to be negotiating a new Celebrity Apprentice contract by now.

For seven months, it has been an article of faith among anti-Trump Republicans that the billionaire’s calamitous campaign would eventually melt down on its own before things got too serious — and if it didn’t, they assured themselves, a cash-flush coalition of conservative groups, super PACs, and presidential campaigns would chase him out of the race. Attack ads would blanket the airwaves in Iowa. An army of activists would descend on New Hampshire. Trump would be exposed for the charlatan that he is, and he’d drop out before a single vote was ever cast.

But the cavalry never came.

Now, 18 days out from the Iowa caucuses, Trump is leading every national poll by 10 points or more — and while single-digit candidates and their backers spend millions to bludgeon each other on TV and radio, they’ve barely lifted a finger to take on the frontrunner.