This has been the wildest year ever. And that comes from someone who remembers Eisenhower v Stevenson. Nobody took Donald Trump seriously at first. In fact, it was not until May that it dawned on the other Republican candidates that Trump may actually win the nomination. Heading into the autumn campaign, most people thought Hillary Clinton couldn’t possibly lose. But Trump moved ahead during her convention.

However, after her own convention, Hillary was so far ahead in the polls that she decided to try to run out the clock. But that was before the health rumors rattled her followers, and her collapse, and “oh, yeah, pneumonia.” Now, Trump has pulled ahead in several polls, and the momentum certainly is on his side.

PowerLine says even the Electoral College is on his side, now.

As Donald Trump has caught up with Hillary Clinton in the polls, he has likewise closed the gap in the electoral college. Ipsos/Reuters says the race to 270 votes is now nearly tied. Many are focusing on Maine, which allocates its electoral college votes by Congressional district, and where one district going for Trump might change the result. . .

Trump will win rather easily, and win going away as he did the Republican primaries. I expect him to carry states like Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, maybe even Pennsylvania.

Hugh Hewitt told the Washington Examiner why Trump is surging.

After enjoying “Peyton on Sunday Morning” ads all month, most Americans expect church, family and the NFL on the first day of the week, not bulletins on “Meet the Press” from NBC’s Richard Engle, who reported to Chuck Todd from the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan to open the show that he’d been covering scenes like the one behind him all year — from Europe.

The new normal. It isn’t because of the “climate of fear,” but because of the reality of random violence, some of it Islamist in origin, but most of it gunplay in the country’s most violent neighborhoods as in Chicago. . .

Is there a “shy Tory” vote out there that pollsters are missing because the respondents don’t want to tell anyone what they are thinking? If so, a flailing Hilllary Clinton is in deep trouble because even as she has surely won the grudging consent of elites, she has little appeal to the “unprotected” as Peggy Noonan so brilliantly has described the vast majority of Americans who are, to put it mildly, unsettled by the rapid pace of, well, everything.

There’s no question that Trump reaches people. The latest proof is that the party formerly known as the apologist for banks and big business now has a candidate who is bringing in record amounts in small donations.

Donald Trump has unleashed an unprecedented deluge of small-dollar donations for the GOP, one that Republican Party elders have dreamed about finding for much of the past decade as they’ve watched a succession of Democrats — Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser extent, Hillary Clinton — develop formidable fundraising operations $5, $10 and $20 at a time. . .

All told, Trump is approaching, or may have already passed, $100 million from donors who have given $200 or less, according to an analysis of available Federal Election Commission filings. . .

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said a senior Republican operative who has worked closely with the campaign’s small-dollar fundraising operation. “He’s the Republican Obama in terms of online fundraising.”

In another development, Politico says Republicans are registering more voters—in key states.

Republicans have continued gaining ground in recent months in voter registration in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Iowa, while the late surge in Democratic registrations relative to Republican registrations that occurred in battleground states during the final months of the 2012 election had not been replicated in numbers released in early August.

“The atmospherics of voter registration trends in those states do not point to a strong Democratic year, so that’s one negative the Trump campaign does not have to deal with at this point,” said Louisiana pollster John Couvillon, who added that spikes in registration can add a point or two to a candidate’s vote share in a close race. “The voter registration data I’m seeing does not support the idea of a surge in Democratic voter enthusiasm.”

In fact, RealClearPolitics now says the race is Trump’s to win (or lose).

As I wrote in August, Trump “must convince the nation … he is an acceptable, indeed, a preferable alternative” to Hillary Clinton, whom the nation does not want.

In Mexico City, Trump did that. He reassured voters who are leaning toward him that he can be president. As for those who are apprehensive about his temperament, they saw reassurance. . .

The “well-being of the American people” may be the yardstick by which U.S. policies will be measured in a Trump presidency. This is also applicable to Trump’s stand on trade and foreign policy. . .

Which of the military interventions and foreign wars from Serbia to Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to Yemen to Syria served the “well-being of the American people”?. . .

Indeed, alienation explains the endurance of Trump, despite his recent difficulties. Americans want change, and he alone offers it. . .

This race is now Trump’s to win or lose. For he alone brings a fresh perspective to policies that have stood stagnant under both parties.

And finally, Trump’s unconventional strategy, according to Political Hype.

The 2016 presidential election has been anything but textbook when it comes to candidates and campaign strategy. Republican nominee and real estate mogul, Donald Trump outlined his fifteen state strategy to win the general election on November 8th which includes focusing on Democrat leaning states such as Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maine. The aforementioned places have proven to be tough terrain for Republicans who have lost these states in the last six presidential elections.

While Trump’s strategy continues to defy convention and at times, logic. Focusing in on the Rust Belt, may not be such a bad strategy after all. As it looks now, Trump is paving the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue through Interstate 75, 80, and 94. For a Republican nominee this an interesting strategy given the five key states that run through the rust belt, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin helped Obama win in 2008 and 2012. The result was largely due to Democrats fairing slightly better among working-class whites than Republicans in these states.

At first blush, this strategy seems a bit off, why waste time in states that have proven to be unfriendly to Republican presidential candidates in the past. However, Donald Trump as everyone knows by now, is not your run of the mill Republican presidential candidate. Trump’s appeal to voters transcends traditional party lines.