It was the seismic event that almost no one saw coming.
When Donald Trump announced his bid for the White House in June 2015, the effort was widely dismissed as a self-promotional gambit by the New York property developer. Instead, Trump vanquished a huge Republican primary field that included big names such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas).
Trump’s detractors were sure he would come unstuck in the general election against Hillary Clinton — right up until he won on Nov. 8, demolishing the “blue wall” that Democrats claimed to have in the Rust Belt and Upper Midwest.
Trump campaigned in a style that defied political norms and survived controversies that would have doomed other candidacies. A large swath of the population appears implacably opposed to him, which will create challenges from the moment he is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Still, Trump won the biggest prize in American politics on his first try. He is not to be underestimated.