This article by Paul Campos drives home for me a major reason why the Trump candidacy will be alarmingly close, if not successful. The final paragraph:
Yglesias’ reaction is an understandable defense mechanism; it’s one that we’ll be seeing a lot of between now and November. He can’t allow himself to contemplate just how ignorant Trump really is, because that would force him to contemplate the extent to which the Republican party has actually gone mad. In other words, Donald Trump’s impending nomination is merely a symptom of a much deeper disease.
Like all journalists, Matthew Yglesias is nowhere near "in the bag" for Trump. But he works in an industry whose bread is buttered by making the binary choice of a presidential election seem as near as possible to a coin flip. Just as a 93-92 basketball game is way more compelling to watch in the last minute than 104-83, the presidential campaign won't sell as much Cialis unless it's compelling dramatic viewing all the way down the line. So the choice in November may look like it will be Pizza Hut or anthrax for dinner, which you'd think* would be a no-brainer for anyone with enough sense and life experience to tie their own velcro-closure sneakers.
But by making it seem close -- so as to get more money for showing Lincoln Navigator mini-dramas starring Matthew McConaughey -- mass media will have the dangerously strong effect of making the idiot-savant look like a sorta kinda reasonable guy if you squint.
* - Too often, statements that begin with "you'd think" end with disappointment.