Trump has led by wide margins in New Hampshire for the last six months, and his lead hasn't been diminished after his surprise Iowa loss. Barring a massive polling miss, Trump should not only win New Hampshire, but he should win it easily.
How has he performed?
The Trump train hit its first major bump of the campaign when he failed to win the Iowa caucuses despite polling in the run-up to the vote that showed him clearly ahead.
Despite that setback, Trump hasn't really adjusted his campaigning style, which largely eschews the grip-and-grin, nonstop stumping in these early states in favor of massive rallies in which Trump flies in on his jet, speaks and then flies back home.
What Trump has done masterfully is employ his celebrity and the massive social media following to control the conversation in the race virtually every day since he entered it in mid-June. He has also displayed a remarkable knack for finding the biggest weaknesses of his rivals and relentlessly repeating them until it catches on -- Ted Cruz as unlikable, Jeb Bush as low-energy, and so on.
What are his strengths?
Trump is a risk-taker. In a field chock-full of traditional pols, he stands way out -- as a guy willing to say and do things that no one else would even consider.
Not all of these risks work out. Trump's decision to skip the Fox News debate on the Thursday before the Iowa caucuses seems to have backfired somewhat. But, that he is willing to take a risk -- even if it doesn't work -- is what appeals to his supporters. It reinforces how different he is from the other candidates and that he walks the walk when it comes to his tough talk.
What are his weaknesses?
Trump's policy knowledge -- particularly on foreign affairs -- is barely an inch deep. When pressed to explain how he would handle, say Iran's nuclear ambitions, Trump's answer is always the same: Be tough, make a better deal, win.
While that has a certain appeal -- especially to people who would like to believe the world can be a far simpler place -- Trump's lack of knowledge and seeming lack of interest in learning could have major implications if the race narrows in the coming months to just him and one other candidate.
In a one-on-one debate with Marco Rubio, for instance, Trump could be badly exposed as someone who lacks the requisite knowledge and intellectual curiosity to represent the Republican Party against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
What would it take for him to win the nomination?
He needs to win -- and seems to be headed toward winning -- in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Then comes South Carolina on Feb. 20, which will almost certainly be a battle among Trump, Ted Cruz and one other more establishment candidate -- most likely Marco Rubio.
The question for Trump is whether he is built for the long haul. How will he wear on voters in March and even April and May? And, as importantly, how will he deal with the pressures and demands of an extended campaign?