Barring a political earthquake of sorts, (and yes, it's Donald Trump we're talking about here, so anything can happen), it appears to be clear sailing for the former president, all the way to the Republican nomination this summer.

However, the road to serving a second term in the White House is still up in the air.  Standing in the way are Democratic voters, Independents and even some Republicans.

The head of the UMass Dartmouth Political Science Deptartment, Professor Ken Manning, joined me this week on Townsquare Sunday to sort out the political landscape, following Trump victories in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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Manning believes Trump, barring any unforeseen event, will pretty much coast through the primary season.  It's possible, says Manning, GOP challenger Nikki Haley will drop out shortly after the South Carolina primary.

Still, he says, there are some real "red flags" for the Trump side.

"Trump's going to be the nominee, but we've known that for some time," says Manning. "What we can see from New Hampshire is that there are divisions among Republicans. A small but significant number of Republicans don't like the former president, and he's very unpopular among Independents."

As for the final election, Manning says the picture is still not clear for both Trump and President Biden.

"There's two things that are keeping Democratic Party leaders up at night: a lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters, mainly younger voters, and the emergence of a credible third-party effort that could peel votes away from President Biden.

However, Manning says Biden still has time to energize the Democratic Party around issues such as abortion and Donald Trump himself.

"Don't undersell Biden here. He's a candidate that appeals to various groups in the Democratic Party coalitions, and there's not an obvious alternative that can unite the Democratic Party."

Manning predicts a large turnout in November.

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly community affairs program heard Sunday mornings at 6 and 11 am on 1420 WBSM, and 99.5 FM.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at


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Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

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