Yes it can. However the odds are against it.
You must define what is "making a long distance relationship work." Do you mean it leads to a marriage or is it just a certain amount of time as in a year, two years, or three years...etc?
One major error people make with LDRs is confusing (calendar time) with (actual time together). A couple that has been together one weekend per quarter will say they've been "together" for a year but in truth their "actual time" together would be (8) days.
No light at the end of tunnel is also a major problem for long distance relationships. The vast majority of couples in long distance relationships have no timeline or plan for when they will be together permanently. Long distance relationships were meant to be (temporary). The goal is to be with the person you love!
No amount of phone calls, emails, texts, Skype, or sporadic visits can cement a relationship in the same way as being together. At some point someone has to make a move.
Oftentimes young teens and college students have unrealistic expectations. As a freshman in college they believe they can maintain relationships with their high school sweetheart who either stayed in their hometown or went away to a different college for the next 4 years. After a semester or two they cave into participating in on campus activities, going to parties, studying with others, making new friends, and eventually desire to be in a relationship with someone they can actually be with. Essentially most young people aren't ready for a 4 to 5 year long distance relationship. It's unrealistic for most 18 or 19 year olds to believe they're going to spend the next 4 years on campus not going to dances and participating in social activities which leads to dating.
A long distance relationship without “a light at the end of the tunnel” is likely to fail. It’s the counting down the months, weeks, and days until you are finally done with the inconvenience of being in a long distance relationship that keeps it strong!
The only reason for being in a long distance relationship is the belief he or she might be “the one”. If you’re just passing the time with someone you might as well do that locally.