United States President Donald Trump's poor relations with foreign allies, reputation as a "bad deal maker" and failure to prepare for the global coronavirus outbreak could be deciding factors at the 2020 US election, according to ANU Visiting Professor Bruce Jentleson.
Professor Jentleson served as the Senior Advisor to the US State Department Policy Planning Director from 2009 to 2011, a senior foreign policy advisor in the Clinton administration in 1993-94 and to Vice President Al Gore during the 2000 US presidential election.
Professor Jentleson said he expects the Democratic Party to focus their foreign policy campaign on "the damage Trump has done to America's relations with so many allies".
"This isn't just hurt feelings, but detrimental to America's own security," he said.
Professor Jentleson said that while domestic issues will be most important, enough voters focus on foreign policy that it could prove decisive in a close election.
He also anticipates seeing COVID-19 make an appearance during the 2020 election.
"Trump did away with pandemic prevention planning and resources, and then fiddled while the crisis spread into the US," he said.
Professor Jentleson said that another presidential term for Trump would spell trouble for the rest of the world.
"In Europe as well as Australia, the dominant message is that four more years of Trump will do irreparable damage to alliances and partnerships," he said.
"In the Middle East, it'll make Israeli-Palestinian peace not just difficult but impossible, and risks war with Iran and more terrorism."
Professor Jentleson holds a PhD from Cornell University and now serves as the William Preston Few Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.