Russian political scientist on US presidential elections

The outcome of the November 2004 US presidential elections will largely depend on external factors, which are linked with the Iraqi war, possible terrorist acts and the US economic performance. This was disclosed at a RIA Novosti press conference here today by Vyacheslav Nikonov, president of the Politics foundation.

Paradoxically enough, but George Bush Jr. would have greater chances of being reelected, in case terrorists attack the United States, the Russian political scientist noted.

According to Nikonov, this can be explained by the fact that the people of the United States believe President Bush can defend US national interests better than anyone else; this is proved by all opinion-poll results. Meanwhile Democratic candidate James Kerry's chances would increase, if the US economy comes tumbling down, Nikonov added.

The main fight will begin in September-October 2004, Nikonov predicts. At the same time, they may try and compromise Kerry, who, of course, is not a saint, but who represents one of the wealthiest US families together with his wife, over that period, Nikonov went on to say.

In his opinion, the incumbent US Administration, which is quite predictable, should remain in the White House because this would match Russian interests. Apart from that, Russia usually doesn't maintain good relations with Democratic administrations, Nikonov stressed.

The forthcoming presidential elections have divided US society on an unprecedentedly great scale, Nikonov told correspondents. That's why any specific predictions dealing with presidential-election results are an unrewarding task, Nikonov said in conclusion.

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