One of your comments up above inadvertently hit the nail on the head about Trump’s appeal, Stef. Where you worried about what would happen if he becomes President and people start to feel comfortable expressing their true/racist feelings. I think that’s the key to his support so far. A segment of the country that’s long felt under assault and marginalized by mainstream society, and which feels they have been made to feel guilty for being white suddenly feels validated by Trump. And I don’t make that characterization to justify, rationalize, nor certainly endorse that view; it’s just what I see in his supporters.
These are people who don’t like somebody like Leonardo DiCaprio getting an Oscar and then “wagging his finger” at them about global warming before (as they see it) hypocritically getting on his private jet to burn jet fuel and fly to the French Riviera to party, nor do they like being lectured about being politically correct and having to say “African American” instead of “Black”. (And they really do view someone like DiCaprio in that light.) Basically, they see Trump as somebody who makes them feel good about who they are and just being themselves. “Hey, it’s okay to be racist! Just DO IT!” (snark)
Even though it’s looking more an more like he’s going to be the Republican nominee (though I still expect somebody can eventually overtake him once enough of the others drops out and the non-Trump votes begin to coalesce), I don’t think he beats either Clinton or Sanders, if only because his support seems to be capped off at 35% of the Republican vote, while the total Republican vote as a percentage of the whole country is itself something like 35% (i.e. 35% of 35% equals, what 12% of all voters total?).