February 2020 Archives

The polls in 2016 predicted that Clinton would win by about 2%, and she did win the popular vote by that margin contrary to the popular perception, and that of at least some political analysts, that the polls were grossly wrong.  As to the congressional elections, the Democrats netted a gain in The House of five seats and a gain of two in The Senate.  In fact, the Republicans won nothing that November; Democrats even won more votes generally in house and senate races than Republicans did.  That all sounds like a victory to me, not just in an election but of ideas as well, but the party experts bemoaned the Democrats' failure to conform to the public mood and preference.  True, in December, the Republicans' man won the electoral college, and admittedly, though that victory comes nowhere near connoting a popular mandate, that changed America, but it did not change Americans.  

Consider 2018. If the pessimists were right, that election should have confirmed Democratic pessimism, but instead it reaffirmed a sense of steady momentum toward regaining the prevalence of Democratic ideals and ideas that actually was incipient in the 2008 election, albeit interrupted briefly in 2010 and 2012 in congress.  In 2008 the Democrats came away controlling both the White House and both houses of congress: a total repudiation of George W. and his party.  Similarly, after an electoral victory in 2016, in 2018 the Democrats regained control of The House with more than 30 seats changing party from Republican to Democrat.  True, the Republicans regained the two net senate seats they had lost in 2016, but they had an advantage going into the election in that nearly twice as many Democratic seats as Republican ones were up for election, and the odds would have made anything less for the Republicans a "disaster," to coin a term  favored by our "disgraceful" president.  Thus, I would argue, 2018 was an affirmation of the trend toward Democratic principles among our people despite the blustering prominence of those who are going the other way.  Why change anything.

Now we come to 2020.  In accord with the Democratic tradition of internecine electoral conflict, The Democrats started shooting themselves in the feet early with 20 contenders, more or less, for the presidency all biting each others' backs rather than putting their own policies on display for the party primary voters to choose among.  That circular firing squad winnowed the field down to what are now only about six or seven survivors, all of whom carry some baggage as we inch toward super-Tuesday.  Naturally, consternation is setting in among those who start thinking about national elections early, because the issue this year isn't who is best, but rather who can beat The Disaster, and I wouldn't minimize those fears.  With Trump inexplicably reaping a gain in popular approval to 49%--a temporary aberration, I believe--the mood is understandably growing heavy.  But it is most important to remember that Democrats have an advantage among the populous if the last two election results are considered.  So, without changing party philosophy...without misguided pandering, can the Democrats do anything to enhance the prospect of victory in the fall?  Yes, a couple of things.

First, the candidates need to stop competing for the nomination by trying to cut each others' legs out from under them.  The debates and campaign speeches should be characterized by advocacy of ideas and policies rather than invidious comparisons.  The electorate will decide who's ideas they like best.  The candidates should accept that democratic principle and stick to illuminating them.  Second, the party should hire strategists other than those who advised Hillary Clinton.  A total of 70,000 votes in three states--Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania--gave Trump his remarkably slim popular-vote victories in those three states, and their electoral votes swinging in his direction gave him the electoral college victory he didn't deserve.  Even so...even despite his claim that he won an electoral college landslide, he won it by the slimmest margin since Jimmy Carter with the exception of another Republican who won the presidency despite losing the popular election: George W. Bush.  If Clinton had appeared in each of those states by one or two more times, we might not be bemoaning the past three years today.

So, if the Democrats do just those two things, I predict that the White House will change hands next January on inauguration day.  It's just a matter of strategy...of not snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.


Your friend,

Mike

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2020 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2020 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.