Now that primary season is effectively over, people are visibly shifting into general election mode. Most prominent Republicans have fallen in line and endorsed Trump, at least to some extent. And now there's some concern about broader appeal and independent voters and all that, and now it behooves the campaign to soften up on the racism and misogyny. Which is of course the strategic thing to do.
Unfortunately it's not a terribly realistic thing to do, from a marketing perspective. It helps to make a distinction here between a brand and a set of talking points. Your talking points can change from day to day. They reflect your current priorities - the things that you take to be important in the short term. In contrast, your brand is who you are - or at least the public perception of who you are.*
Given the timeline of a political campaign, the brand that brought you into the arena is crucial, because there really isn't sufficient time to change your brand in significant ways in a general election. This could be seen as a flaw in the primary system - the things that bring success in the primaries may not be the same things that bring success in the general election.
So the only question is, how many voters outside of Trump's base can be persuaded to swallow the unsavory aspects of his brand in order to attain the benefits they think they'll get from his presidency? It will be interesting to find out...
*The distinction between who you are and how your brand is perceived is an endlessly interesting and important one, particularly in the context of conversations on business ethics and marketing strategies.