A group of top strategists, operatives and activists in the early primary states Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada say Donald Trump's chances of clenching the Republican nomination are on the rise.
, which assembled the panel, said 81 percent of Republicans quizzed believe the billionaire developer's chances of winning the nomination are higher today than just month ago. And 79 percent of Democrats believe the same thing.
One Nevada Republican told the website Trump has shown that he has staying power in a way that previous flash-in-the-pan candidates like Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich did not.
"A lot can happen in the next few months but it is time for everyone to stop whistling past the graveyard and realize that this is real and he could be our standard bearer," the insider said.
A South Carolina Republican added, "Donald Trump being the GOP nominee is now within the realm of possibility."
Others are also trumpeting Trump's possible clinch of the GOP nomination — and beyond.
In Vanity Fair
, David Burstein, founder of the political action think-tank "Run for America," writes: "While I'm not predicting Donald Trump will win the presidency, it's time for us all to realize that President Trump is not only not implausible — it's very possible."
And Ed Rollins, who was national campaign director for President Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election and campaign chairman for Mike Huckabee's 2008 run, told National Review:
"Trump is a serious player for the nomination at this time."
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