Alan Zendell, June 2, 2019
To listen to the pundits with their prediction models, defeating Donald Trump in 2020 will be a monumental task which is made worse by our outmoded Electoral College. Those same pundits told us Trump would never win the Republican nomination, and up until a few days before the 2016 election, assured us that he had little chance of beating Hillary Clinton.
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While it’s true that short of a smoking gun proving Trump committed felonies, the core of his base is immovable, Republican cowardice in the face of existential necessity is actually an affront to the other two-thirds of the electorate. Those people who voted for Trump hoping he would grow into the office, those who didn’t vote because they disliked both candidates, and those who bought into the right wing’s twenty-year long hate-Hillary campaign couldn’t care less about who Trump’s base supports.
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Despite all the factors working against her, including Russian interference and James Comey inexplicably and irresponsibly inserting himself into the campaign weeks before the election, Hillary Clinton still won the popular vote in 2016 by more than three million. She ran an abysmal campaign that was rife with tactical mistakes, she was abandoned by many Bernie Sanders supporters who felt the Party had rigged the primary, and her strategists completely missed what was happening in the rust belt states. It was a perfect storm of incompetence and unanticipated events.
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If Democrats want to win the rust belt back, their best hope is a team of Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar. They’re both popular in those states, and they’re centrists who avoid the extreme positions that marginalize large segments of the electorate. Priority number one is defeating Donald Trump. Democrats should save their policy debates for after they win.