GOP wakes up to Trump nightmare – Politico

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Top party leaders fear it may be too late to stop him.

Establishment Republicans are reckoning with something they thought would never happen: That it might soon be too late to stop Donald Trump.

With the controversial businessman the clear front-runner heading into Nevada and next week’s Super Tuesday contests, there’s an emerging consensus that the odds of dislodging him are growing longer by the day. Whispered fears that Trump could become the Republican nominee have given way to a din of resigned conventional wisdom – with top party officials and strategists openly wondering what the path to defeating him will be.

“If anyone else in this field had gone second-first-first in the first three contests, we would all be saying that it’s over,” said Mike DuHaime, a former Republican National Committee political director who guided Chris Christie’s presidential bid.

“I think it’s uphill, and Washington underestimates how uphill it is – and that’s because they’ve persistently underestimated Trump,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who sought the Republican nomination in 2012. If he wins Nevada, Gingrich added, “What is it that’s supposed to stop him?”

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