Trump denialism is dead. I have been distinguishing between two types of Trump denialism: Types A and B. Type A denialism is denying that Trump is winning. With Super Tuesday down, and Trump still way ahead, Type A denialism is pretty much dead. Type B denialism is more tricky. I have described it as a refusal to admit that the reason we, as political scientists, underestimated Trump was that our models of nomination politics are weak at best. Even that seems to be on its last legs.
I have saved my most disdainful scorn for The Party Decides, which I never found a compelling book in the first place. The authors argued that party elites control the nomination process. I have described the elaborate contortions defenders have used to avoid the obvious conclusion that Trump is a 'yuge' problem for them. I have made snarky remarks about the absence of self-reflection among defenders of the model.
No more. One of the co-authors has taken to the New York Times to do exactly what I have been waiting to see. Hans Noel is now acknowledging that either something is just weird this year or maybe the book just isn't right. At this point, he is speculating about the possibilities, which is the right thing to do. That's what we call intellectual integrity.
What's going on? I have a few ideas, coming soon, but I don't claim a definitive answer. Nobody should. That is why we need this kind of reflection.