I was wrong. I couldn't see it happening. Not in a million years. I read the stacks of commentary, the credible polls and the less-so. Veteran pundits with decades of campaign experience condemned Donald Trump's chances and I inhaled their wisdom, deep.

When he launched his campaign at a New York hotel and allegedly used paid actors to clap and cheer, I figured he wouldn't last more than a few weeks. When he pledged to build a border wall, accused Mexicans of being rapists and criminals, fell out with Univision, NBC and - surely not - Fox News, I was convinced each blow would be fatal.

When I properly appreciated Trump was riding an unprecedented surge of anger and fear, and even when I had attended his events and experienced the fervour first hand, I still thought he couldn't last.

Yessir, I was wrong. It's reasonable to consider Trump the favourite to win the Republican nomination for US President.


In many respects, the Republican Party, whose core Trump only vaguely represents, has itself to blame. Much of the public's anger stems from the increasingly partisan divide in federal politics and high-profile Republicans' refusals to co-operate with Democrat lawmakers. People are annoyed.

Constantly threatening to shut down the Government hasn't worked in the Republicans' favour.

But the rise of Trump can also be attributed to the swollen Republican field. Bush, Rubio, Kasich and Christie stayed in the race too long. For the greater good, they needed to coalesce around a single candidate much earlier.

They didn't. Nose/Face/Spite. Mathematics defeated by personal ambition.

I think Trump will win the Republican nomination. I think he'll face Hillary Clinton in the general election.

I think it'll be nasty. I think the American voting public will be aggressively, damagingly, divided.

I think it's impossible for Trump to win.

But hey, it's Trump! There's no such thing as a sure thing. And it's not like I haven't been wrong before.

• Jack Tame is on Newstalk ZB Saturdays, 9am-noon
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