With Trump heavily favored to be the GOP nominee, how will he be in the general? Most pundits assume the rhetoric we’ve heard in the primary will continue. By then Trump would know that he already won the GOP primary, he needs to get Independents and Democrats. Trump will change tone and focus on other issues.
Supporters would argue that Trump will stick to the issues that made him win the primary. But Trump is a “winner” and a “deal maker.” In the primary, his deal was that he would raise the issues in exchange for votes. With the primary essentially over, that deal would be done. He is on to the next deal. Will this hurt his populist GOP base? No. These people are already emotionally invested in Trump. They fought on Facebook, in campaigns, in polls, and with relatives. They bought the hats and t-shirts, and went to the rallies. Their identity is with Trump until November regardless where he stands. And Trump knows this.