Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Trump’s decision to remove himself from the final debate was tactically brilliant.
He doesn’t do well in the debate format anyway. And his absence left Cruz as the front-runner to face multiple attacks, and it allowed the Cruz–Rubio feud over immigration — it was, as Christie pointed out, conducted in confusing Washington-speak — to damage both of their brands. Rubio had a better night, Cruz a worse night.
The chances that Trump will win Iowa and then New Hampshire and then South Carolina just increased measurably.
Polls suggest that Republicans are getting used to the idea of President Trump. An ABC poll released this week found 64 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents think Trump will be the nominee and 65 percent find him acceptable as the nominee, essentially the same as find Cruz (66 percent) and Rubio (67 percent) acceptable as a nominee.
Prediction: If Trump wins Iowa, he will win New Hampshire. If he wins Iowa and New Hampshire, he will win South Carolina. If he wins all three of those states, who is going to stop him from being the GOP nominee?
What does that mean for the Reagan revolution?
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.