If you have never read Jay Cost then you are in for a treat. He is the second coming of Michael Barone when it comes to electoral politics. While Barone may understand the electoral map more than any person in the media, Cost is brilliant at electoral demographics. His latest article about Trump and how his popularity mirrors that of Ross Perot is quite interesting. One important point that Cost only implies is that while Perot had to run as a independent, Trump can be as independent but run as a Republican giving him a legitimate chance that Perot never had.
Surprisingly, Cost doesn't really delve into why Trump is pushing the citizenship question. While I personally consider the birth certificate question meaningless because no one questions that his mother is a citizen, Trump is clever in that he is reaching a portion of the electorate that has been written off by the media and all other mainstream Republican candidates. That Trump is ready to take on the question gives him a credibility where it has marginalized others. Trump is doing nothing more than what the whole media did to Bush about his National Guard record. And if I remember correctly, Bush produced the documents in question.
I don't think Trump has the temperament to win the election, although he would be fun in the debates. Nixon in 1972 was the last President that beat a more affable candidate. Americans seem to vote for the guy that would rather hang out with. But the fact that Trump is willing to take on a toxic issue like the birth certificate seems to indicate he's willing to gamble to actually win the election. Just as important was his declaration that Sarah Palin was more qualified to be President than Barrack Obama. By making these comments he runs the risk of hurting his TV ratings like Oprah did by supporting Obama in 2008. Why take that chance if you weren't serious about winning the election?