Readying Themselves for the Unexpected Must Be the Democrats’ Priority

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Media Outlet: The Guardian

Mark Schmitt wrote for the Guardian about how Democrats face a period of total uncertainty:

For Democrats over the age of 40, a heartbreaking loss in a presidential election is an uncomfortably familiar feeling. Twice in the past two decades, Democrats have won the popular vote but lost the presidency.

Each presidential loss brings three intertwined questions. What happened? What’s the best way to deal with the new administration? And what’s the path back to power in the next midterm and presidential elections?

This year’s result is so different that each of those questions is perplexing. The underlying cause of the defeat might be that Democrats lost their connection to white working-class voters, particularly in the upper midwest. Or that Hillary Clinton, some time in early 2015, lost her longstanding base of popularity and trust and wasn’t equipped to get it back. There are a dozen or more demographic categories in which Clinton underformed Barack Obama in 2012, in addition to white people without college degrees, suggesting that Clinton’s broad unpopularity was an inescapable problem.

Author:

Mark Schmitt is director of the program on Political Reform at New America.