(DW-USA).It is now just a year until Americans go to the polls again to elect the man or woman who will be the next President of the United States. However, those hoping for a change are likely to be disappointed – the chances are that Donald Trump will be elected to serve another four years.
A highly divisive figure at home and abroad, Trump currently trails his main Democratic rivals in national polls.
Politics in America though, is not about how many votes you get in total (if it was Hilary Clinton would be President now), but about how many states you capture in the Electoral College. And when it comes to the handful of pivotal seats that are set to decide next year’s election – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina – then Trump is neck and neck with his main Democratic opponents.
One of the problems that the Democrats face is who to pit against him. At the moment there are still 17 candidates left in the race to secure the national nomination for the party, and whilst that number will dwindle in the weeks to come, there is still no one figure around which opposition to Trump can coalesce.
Former vice-President Joe Biden has long been the front-runner, but his numbers have begun to soften following allegations about his links with Ukraine, at the same time as his son was on the board of a Ukrainian gas-extraction company.
Bernie Saunders is popular with certain sections of the party, but he is rumoured to have had a heart attack recently, and will be 79 years old by the time the election takes place.
Potentially that leaves Elizabeth Warren, the current senator from Massachusetts, as the one who is likely to emerge from the field to secure the Democratic ticket next year.
However, contesting elections in the United States is a costly business, and it takes a lot of money to pay for the campaigns and the wall-to-wall advertising on traditional and social media that helps get a candidate into office. And that is where Trump, backed by wealthy donors and powerful interest groups, has a clear edge.
At the end of the third quarter of this year, Trump’s campaign had raised already US $83.3 million, which is more than leading three Democrats, in terms of funds raised – Sanders, Warren, and Pete Buttigieg from South Indiana – had managed between them.
The fact is that Trump, buoyed by a strong economy, can out-spend his rivals and persuade enough voters in marginal states to vote for him, ensuring that, barring a major upset, he will be heading back to the White House this time next year.