Lots of folks talking about Trump and how nothing sticks to him. Please. The man has the worst unfavorables of any modern candidate. He is widely detested. Sure, white men might be divided about him, but the rest of the population (the majority of the voting public) finds him to be awful, awful, awful.
Yes, the polls have narrowed, as they do when one candidate has sown up the nomination while the other candidate has all but done so. The basic reality of the American electorate is that more than forty percent will vote for any Republican candidate, even Trump, especially against someone who the party has demonized since before I finished my dissertation (a long, long time ago). Sure, Trump gets heaps of free media coverage, but much of that coverage is, indeed, quite critical. More and more outlets are fact-checking and pointing out that Trump is a lying sack of arrogance.
The Republicans had two problems that Hillary Clinton does not: they wanted to appeal to the same white supremacist/xenophobic/misogynist groups as Trump so they could not call him out on those things; and they could not criticize Trump's policy stances since he was mostly outbidding them.
Yes, Trump presents some challenges that other candidates would not, but he has no experience as a politician other than competing in a very large field of weak candidates (who are now proven cowards [Rubio and Christie, I am talking about you guys]). He alienates people quite easily as he is thin-skinned, defensive, offensive, and ignorant. Yes, that plays to some audiences, but it hurts him elsewhere.
There will be no convincing move to the center to appeal to Democrat-leaners or Republican-leaners, as he cannot discipline himself to stick to a message, especially a message that reaches out to people who are not white males. I expect far more misogyny as he attacks HRC, and I don't expect him to say anything more convincing than "I love Hispanics" one day and then attack a judge for being an Mexican the next.
So, teflon candidate? Please. That might have been Bill Clinton, a draft-dodging, multiple-affair having governor from the 49th most successful state. And geez, that drove the GOP crazy. But Trump? No. Widely reviled.
Things may go wrong and he could win if Bernie Sanders and his supporters betray their values and don't support Trump's opponent. But not teflon. He reeks of hate, fear, and failure. So, NYT, stop making him appear to be something that he is not.