Focus, focus, focus
No one has effectively impacted Donald Trump with their attacks this year. His ability to say offensive things has hurt him more than what his opponents accomplished by talking about those statements.
On the other hand, Trump was able to effectively destroy several of his primary rivals and rhetorically helped keep Hillary’s negatives high.
The reason in both cases is the same. Trump focused his fire — usually with a single word or phrase. The Democrats were all over the place. This is understandable since Trump was such a target rich environment — but each charge and phrase used against him tended to get lost when something new cropped up, such that Hillary and team were playing whack a mole (often because Trump understood the dynamics enough to send a new tweet that would attract new fire.
Hopefully, the voices opposing Trump ( and I think his transition has provided no hint of conciliation or attempt to heal the country, or even behave Presidential) can learn from this and focus their fire to position Trump, just as he did with Rubio, Bush and Cruz.
The choices are still many:
Conflict of interest
Divisive if not racist, sexist, etc
No core beliefs
Greedy/more interested in his ego and money than in the country
Rich and entitled — from youth to now
Experienced only in real estate and branding
Con man (his “trust me”command seems to be the only basis for actually trusting him)
Somehow, the best and brightest need to coalesce around one of these themes to build and stick to a narrative that might finally gain traction to erode at least some of those who blindly follow this Pied Piper