When Trump announced his candidacy, I understood immediately that he had one massive advantage. He already had decades of brand building behind him. While every other candidate had to spend hundreds of millions just to be remembered on election day, he already had that recognition.
That meant that his real risk was in establishing credentials as a potential president. If he could do that then he had to win as no one has enough money or time to overcome the name recognition advantage.
Then he went to work and he deployed what even in hindsight looks to be an absurd strategy. He targeted the Archie Bunker crowd representing a third of his potential audience and got them onside by been completely outrageous. That alone gave him a lock on the nomination. Even better, nothing he says needs to be taken seriously later when he is president, except to provide a laughing point.
By been outrageous and unreasonable he allows himself the luxury of completely changing his position without consequence. Who will blame him if he decides building the greatest wall in the world is simply too costly? It was nonsense to begin with.
By doing this he has forced all his competitors to sound like colorless speech readers with no room for growth. That folks is what is called winning conditions. Most amusing is watching all the GOP Mandarins musing about changing the rules. Do they really want a revolution?
At this point he is effectively unstoppable even on the convention floor..