19:31 GMT09 May 2021
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    Republican frontrunner Donald Trump faces an uphill battle to win the US presidential election in November, but he could still pull off a surprise victory, former a US Agency for International Development (USAID) adviser Paolo von Schirach told Sputnik after Trump won the primaries in four US states on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Trump won the primary election contests in four US states — Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri — but lost in Ohio.

    "Donald Trump keeps winning, but his margins are not high. In most states he gets 40 percent to 45 percent of the vote. This is very good, but not overwhelming. This is not a national wave," Schirach said, adding that Trump will have to expand his appeal widely and rapidly to hope to win any US national election.

    Schirach noted that Trump’s current level of support is not enough to get to the White House in terms of the need to build a vast coalition in time for the national election.

    "Besides, Trump has very high negatives. There are many Republicans (up to 20 percent according to some surveys) who declared that they will never vote for him," Schirach said.

    While Trump’s level of support among registered Republican voters of 40-45 percent is not a good enough base for winning the White House in November, he must still be regarded as the favorite to become the Republican presidential nominee in Cleveland in July, Schirach pointed out.

    "Can the GOP [Republican Party] deny Trump the nomination? This is possible, but improbable," he admitted.

    Schirach also noted that Trump’s ace card could be the millions of new voters he was attracting to the Republican Party.

    "Trump supporters claim that the ‘Trump Revolution’ brought and will bring millions of Americans who never voted before into the process. This in effect created a brand new, large pro-Trump constituency. This is, and will be, the new wave that will get him the votes to get elected president. There is some truth to that," he acknowledged.

    Trump’s likely Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, on paper is the strong favorite to win the general election, but she also has problems, Schirach recognized.

    "The stubborn Bernie Sanders challenge indicates that many Democrats would really like someone else. Besides, the turnout in the Democratic primaries has been rather low, he added.

    "So far, more Republicans are voting, fewer Democrats are showing up. Not a good sign when you need to energize the base in order to "get out of the vote" and win in November," he explained.

    At the end, Trump may surprise everybody, again, Schirach predicted.

    "If, come November, Clinton appears shopworn and fatigued, while Trump manages to re-engineer his image, consolidating his appeal as the strong willed, capable outsider who will save America, we may have a surprise Trump victory," he said.

    Clinton's inherent weaknesses may provide the opening Trump needs to win in November, Schirach concluded.

    Paolo von Schirach is a Professor of International Relations at BAU International University in Washington, DC, and publisher and editor of the Schirach Report. He served as political and economic adviser to a number of entities, including the US Agency for International Development and the European Union.


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