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Pundits Were Sure Trump Would Falter

Donald Trump holds up the front page of the New York Post in Harrington, Delaware, April 22, 2016. The Post called him "King Don" after his New York primary victory, but it had predicted his candidacy's demise in a July 2015 headline.

Some in the U.S. media smugly predicted that billionaire reality TV personality Donald Trump would never be the Republican Party's choice for president. But now that he's become the presumptive nominee, let's look at what the political pundits have been predicting about him since last summer.

July 2015

James Fallows, The Atlantic magazine: "The chance of his winning [the] nomination and election is exactly zero."

New York Post headline: "Trump is toast after insult: 'McCain not a war hero.'"

Ben White, CNBC: "Donald Trump is not going to be the next president of the United States. This reporter is already on record pledging to eat a bag of rusty nails if the real estate tycoon with the high hair manages to snag the GOP nomination, much less takes down likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton next fall."

Peter Fenn, U.S. News & World Report: "Now, seriously, does anyone other than The Donald truly believe his fame and fortune are going to get him anywhere in a Republican presidential primary, let alone a general election? His candidacy has been a joke from the start. He makes for great copy, but so did Jack the Ripper."

August 2015

Abby Huntsman, CNN: "I think this could be the beginning of the end for Donald Trump."

Matthew Yglesias, Vox: "Trump is no more going to actually win the nomination than [Bernie] Sanders is."

Mark Halperin, Bloomberg Politics: “So I think going forward, the establishment, the other candidates, the press, it’s kind of an iron triangle saying Trump is dead. This is the beginning of the end."

Jonathan Chait, New York magazine: "Donald Trump is going to lose because he is crazy."

September 2015

Chuck Todd, NBC: “I think this is the week we're going to look back on and say maybe this was the beginning of the end of Trump ’16."

Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post: "Historians looking back will peg the beginning of the end of the Trump show to his New Hampshire moment last week."

Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal: When the primaries arrive early next year, the Trump vote will subdivide further among the other Republican tortoises. If he stays in, Donald Trump becomes another presidential also-ran. With ostentation suitable to his stature, Mr. Trump should retire to a skybox, and enjoy what he has wrought."

January 2016

David Brooks, New York Times columnist on NBC: "It's going to be [Marco] Rubio. I'm telling you: It's going to be Rubio.