A quick note to everyone panicking over the prospect of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. Chill! You seem to forget that Trump was Republican front runner at this stage in the last election as well. And yes, I understand why everyone has managed to drop that down memory hole, but it remains the case. Trump surged ahead by being the only Republican contender to seriously entertain the birthers. The Tea Party embraced him. However, he was not a member and did not speak their language, and it soon became apparent that he was merely pandering to them. So the Republicans moved on to semi-serious candidates like Michelle Bachman, Herman Caine, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. They were an appalling bunch, but at least they had one thing going for them -- none of them were Donald Trump.
This time instead of birtherism, the issue is illegal immigration, which has the advantage of being at least a real issue. Still, there is every reason to believe that sooner or later Trump will commit some faux pas that makes clear to Tea Partiers that is is not one of them and is just pandering (again). The Iowa caucus is still over five months away, for Pete's sake! That will give plenty of time for the novelty to wear off and Trump to self-destruct over something.
I try to make it my rule not to comment on the election until the actual primaries begin. This counts as a failure but occasionally a bit of madness has to be tamped down. Panic over Trump is one such occasion.