Fact File: Can Donald Trump Make It To The White House?

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has surged to the top of opinion polls as the preferred Republican presidential nominee in 2016, taking many pundits by surprise.

Mr Trump has also grabbed headlines with a series of attacks on illegal immigrants and other politicians.

But despite his frontrunner status and personal wealth, is a Trump presidency likely? 

Here are some points to consider.

If Donald Trump were to become president, he would be the first non-politician elected to the White Housesince Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952.

However Republican strategist Ford O'Connell, who is a former advisor to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, told Fact Check that while the odds of a non-politician being elected president aren't great, they are probably higher than at any time since General Eisenhower.

"The reason is that Americans are tired of politicians and Washington politics-as-usual, and a non-politician candidate could leverage that to his or her advantage," he said.

Strategist Ford O'Connell says while Mr Trump could take votes away from the Republicans if he runs a third party campaign, he says it isn't likely to happen because even for the billionaire businessman, the cost would be prohibitive.

Read more from Fact Check at Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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Analysis & Political Strategy