I obviously want Trump to go away as soon as possible, but I wrote in Politico today about how he could still have life in New Hampshire — a much less conservative and Republican electorate than Iowa is — and regardless, the Trump phenomenon shouldn’t be written off:
Even if Trump fizzles, though, the passions and discontents that have fueled him shouldn’t be ignored. This would be tempting, given that Trump himself is such a disreputable politician, but it would still be a mistake.
The fact is that the Republican Party can’t be dependent on working-class voters at the same time that it’s default economic agenda has little to say to them. If Trump has opened up the space for a conversation in the GOP about how to connect with these voters and their concerns, then his carnival show will have had some significant upside. If he goes down and the Republican political class carries on as if nothing had happened and conservative pundits who have twisted themselves into knots to justify Trump go back to hewing to the verities of the 1980s, nothing will have been gained except a more entertaining primary season than usual.
In this scenario, Trump voters will have been ill-served by his buffoonery, and the gatekeepers of the Republican Party will have been ill-served by their own lack of imagination. What Donald Trump has identified out there in the country is too important to be left to Donald Trump.