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EP 391 Did the Democrats Learn From Their Loss in 2016?

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On Election Day 2020, we are posting this podcast, recorded on Friday, October 30, recounting the soul searching and internal debates that went on in the Democratic Party as they tried to understand Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in 2016. Is this a conscious and helpful exercise? If you recall, the Republicans did the same after Mitt Romney’s rebuke in 2012. They said that they needed to be more inclusive and reach out to voters not in the GOP tent. And then out of the nominating process in 2016 emerged an insurgent Donald Trump who literally wanted to ‘wall off’ outsiders and yet he won with a message diametrically opposed to that 2012 autopsy by the party. In all of this lies the question as to whether the parties themselves have much control over anything as they have democratized the nominating process to such a degree that more fringe candidates can emerge in the end. In the case of the Democrats in 2020 they emerged looking to stitch back their winning formulas from the past with a more establishment candidate in Joe Biden, who could appeal to a previously reliable part of their coalition–the white working class voter. That stitching together spackles over cracks between moderates and progressives in the party. But will desire to remove President Trump be enough to make it work? We’ll find out in the days ahead. With us to discuss is Seth Masket, author of ‘Learning From Loss: The Democrats 2016-2020’.

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