Re: Meanwhile in the US, voters are getting stupider all the time
If Trump's function was to "corral" voters to the proper choice down the road, he wouldn't be running down his opponents so much. He spends as much time criticizing other republican candidates as he does Hillary and Obama.
He speaks to the same angry white man who listened to Joe the Plumber a few years ago, who listen to guys like Rush, who watched Morton Downey Jr back in the day. The guys who think things are rigged against them being able to move up in the world like they believe they deserve. That a billionaire is voicing it for them is kind of surreal, but that's what he's tapping into with his screeds against immigration, against Mexico, against China. He pays lip service to stuff like complaining about Obamacare because those people have already been trained to hate it, but he doesn't really care and knows he's just singing with the choir there since all the republican candidates are against it.
He's taking extreme positions and finding support, and some of the republican candidates are being forced to echo his positions. Others like Bush are trying to honestly state their position rather than seeing how extreme they need to be to win the primary, but Bush has said he'd risk losing the primary to win the election. That may happen, and the republicans may be in a lot of trouble in a general election if they have a candidate who has taken up very extreme positions that the middle of the road voters who decide elections can't accept. Even if Trump isn't the eventual nominee, and I doubt he will be, he may cause them to lose the election.
Of course if he runs as an independent he certainly would cause them to lose the election; while he'll pull some from the democrat side he's obviously going to pull more from the republican side and would effectively hand the presidency to Hillary or possibly Sanders.