Trump can still win re-election in the midst of the disaster he helped create: David Cay Johnston
US President Donald Trump answered questions from journalists outside the White House AFP

With a pandemic, economic crash, and racial protests rocking America and poll after poll showing him down in key states, conventional wisdom is starting to shift in favor of President Donald Trump being an underdog to win re-election.

But not so fast, wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning financial journalist David Cay Johnston for The Daily Mail. According to him, Trump still has a blueprint to follow that could let him win another term.

"First, he must persuade Americans that China is responsible for the coronavirus deaths, and feckless state governors and local mayors — rather than his own chaotic administration — mishandled the pandemic," wrote Johnston. "If fatalities, as expected, are falling after the summer, he will benefit. Should a reliable treatment have emerged by then, this will help further. Second, the social unrest needs to recede — as it will in the weeks to come. Trump will claim it was his tough law-and-order policies that crushed the violence that erupted after Mr Floyd's death and simultaneously reassure voters he is concerned about abusive policing."

"His third challenge is the economy. This is the easiest one for him," wrote Johnston. "Even with more than a quarter of American workers on jobless benefits — and after a slightly uptick in employment numbers yesterday — Trump can argue the fastest way to revive the economy is to cut taxes further and jettison yet more business regulations. Most of the big corporations don't want the Democrats back in power, with the prospect of higher taxes and more red tape. They can help him now by announcing expansion plans and job-hire schemes, promising even more if he wins in November."

There are also structural issues that will benefit him, Johnston wrote: "In this year's election, Democrats expect heavily armed Trump supporters to mass near polling places where those who oppose the President will vote. Their message will be clear — and some voters will be too intimidated to cast ballots. Trump is also pushing hard to block postal voting in certain states, a process he uses personally but insists is rife with fraud. His campaign is currently lobbying for postal voting in states where the process might benefit him, but against it in states he risks losing."

And, Johnston continued, there is the fact that millions of people are still passionate about Trump's message.

"The President understands that millions of white Americans never embraced the civil rights movement. Sadly, too many still wish they could put minorities 'back in their place'. They don't want to sit next to an Asian on a plane, work alongside a Latino, and God forbid having to report to a black female boss!" wrote Johnston. Moreover, "His feral nature - his speech and bearing a world away from most politicians and statesmen - chimes with people who'd never dream of reading manifestos or the detailed plans of presidential candidates."

"The lesson for November's election is clear," concluded Johnston. "Don't — for a single moment — write him off."

You can read more here.