I realize it's early, but how should Democrats approach 2020?

Should they just nominate whoever the base likes best, or try really hard to appeal to moderate and conservative voters who don’t like Trump?

As most of you probably know, I did not vote for Trump. I voted for Clinton, because I felt she was competent and would work well with Republicans. But if I see a race between say, Liz Warren and Trump in 2020, I’m voting third party. The Third party vote in 2016 on the right was pretty high. Clearly there are some voters to be won there.

So, is it better for Democrats to try to please voters like me, or try to motivate the base?

I say please voters like me. Not so much because it’s objectively the better strategy, but because it’s easier to implement. Identifying a centrist candidate is easy. Everyone knows who the centrist candidate is in any given race. finding a candidate who will increase base turnout is a lot harder. Progressives may be ultra enthused about candidates like Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren, but it doesn’t matter whether progressives are enthused or not. What matters is whether youth and minority voters are. Sanders failed for the most part to appeal to minority voters, and I see no evidence that Liz Warren would have any more success in that regard. Cory Booker on the other hand, has a much more moderate record but could recreate the Obama coalition. Or maybe not. It’s hard to know in advance.

So just pick the candidate I tell you to pick and everything will go great. I promise.:smiley:

If Trump is running again I guess it might be worth going centrist(if you are willing to call the New Democrats that name) to get voters like you, as long as (s)he’s populist enough to frigging carry the rust belt. If Trump declines a second term there’s no point as you’ll vote Republican if it’s not Trump.

Not necessarily. There are more bad Republicans than just Trump. But yes, I would vote for most of the current top contenders(Rubio, Pence, Ryan). Ted Cruz though, that would be a hard sell for me.

Ideally, someone who the base feels is progressive but is unknown enough to the general public that it wouldn’t turn people off who are more centrist. I’m not sure who that’d be though. Sanders and Warren are both well known at this point.

It depends on how the economy does under Trump. If it does poorly, I don’t think it matters who the democrats run as the dems will have an advantage. If it does well, then I think you’d need to run someone with as broad an appeal as possible, especially with high school educated whites (who are what gave Trump the election).

I doubt it’ll actually matter that much who the Democrats run, because the economy will likely have a significant downturn before 2020. The Trumpists are going to overheat the economy, inflation is going to soar, the Fed will aggressively raise interest rates, consumer spending will contract, businesses will lay off, and the Republicans, divided between conservatives and Trumpists, will fail to do enough to help the middle class. Democrats will be able to elect anyone to the right of Trotsky.

In the short-term (that is, 2020), Democrats will be very tempted to nominate someone like Sanders. They’ll win that election because of the damage caused by Trumpists. And they’ll fix most of the damage, too, because Democrats are competent. They’ll likely win reelection in 2024, too.

In the long-term, if the Democrats choose a “leftist”, they will over-reach. And the Republicans (after purging all the Trumpists) will be competent and competitive again. But I think that if Democrats choose a “centrist”, they will be able to hold onto power for longer.

Now maybe it doesn’t matter that much. Democrats tend to put practicality ahead of ideology, so even an extreme leftist in the presidency will be limited by centrist Democrats. And maybe doing too much in one or two terms and then fighting the reactions works just as well as incremental change over three or four terms. I’m not a Democrat, so it’s their call, not mine.

For myself, as a RINO, my litmus tests are 1) pro free trade, 2) pro diversity, and 3) pro corporation. Obama and the Clintons were perfect candidates for me. I hope that Democrats pick someone in their mold, but I’m not hopeful.

I’m a conservative Republican, so obviously I hope the Democrats lose, but here’s my thoughts.

They should just run as themselves. Elizabeth Warren has made herself the face of her party, and the Democrats wholeheartedly supported her during the Sessions episode, so if they back down from her brand of politics and try to appear moderate to appeal to Trump voters, they’ll probably see it for what it is: shameless politicians without principles trying to clumsily pander for their votes.

I admire it when a politician, Republican or a Democrat, runs based on their own personal beliefs, not based on where the prevailing political winds of the public says their beliefs should be (even if they aren’t truly genuine).

For example, although I oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I wasn’t impressed when Hillary changed her position on it and decided to oppose it; she didn’t do so out of a genuine change of heart (she previously called it the “gold standard of trade deals”), but did so when it was convenient for her in an effort to defeat the socialist Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, a man who, although I disagree with him on a lot, truly and genuinely opposed it from the start.

That’s my advice, and good luck to you guys, although not too much luck! :wink:

I can see your point, but I’m starting to get really uncomfortable with populism and the desire to find someone with deep ideological values they will not waver from. I’m a leftist, but Venezuela is falling apart because they elected a populist leader who had no idea how to function in a global marketplace (people are eating zoo animals down there to avoid starving). The US just elected a populist leader who will likely put the US at a disadvantage relative to China and probably europe as well as harming many alliances. If the US emerges from Trump with our economy and reputation only somewhat damaged, I’d consider that the best case scenario.

The idea of voting for someone just because they have convictions isn’t really that great if those convictions are terrible ideas. ISIS has convictions and will stand by them even when they are unpopular.

I think the US is falling into a less serious version of what happened in China. They kept pursuing ideologically pure policy and big ideas/easy solutions under Mao which constantly screwed everything up. In the late 70s they said ‘alright, screw ideology. Lets just do what works’ and things have been improving ever since. I think/hope the US goes through something similar.


Do you hate America?

Elon Musk could build a Satan-Bot, and get it on the ballot, and it would STILL be your patriotic duty to vote for it against Trump.

Unless you DO hate America.

I voted for Trump and I don’t hate America. Don’t psychoanalyze.

Missed the edit window. For clarity: A third-party vote, by definition, is not a vote against Trump.

Not psychoanalyzing, just pointing out facts.* The Republican Party is no longer a conservative party; it is a party of radical reactionaries. And “radical” is pretty much the exact opposite of “conservative.”

*Okay, I’m also extrapolating, some.

The Republican Party is not “radical”, nor “reactionary”. It’s a conservative party, the alternative to the liberal party in America which is the Democratic Party.

Also, you want to talk about radicals, look at the left-wing zealots on your side, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Sherrod Brown, Michael Moore, and so on.

Still, you haven’t proved that because I voted for Trump that I hate America.


Pull the other one; it’s got bells on. The Democratic Party has been center-right at least since Clinton42.

ETA: Sorry for the hijack; carry on.

Have you seem his cabinet picks?? Holy crap, are you comfortable with Betsy devos?! Have you not been astonished at how unprepapered he is for his job??

Seriously, think about what an extraordinary shitty decision your vote was…

Yeah, DeVos is a woman, not a man, yo. And she did stumble a little, but she ultimately corrected herself.

I’ve thought about my decision a good deal, and I don’t regret it at all.

The Democrats are in an enviable situation heading into 2020. Trump and the GOP will be so deeply unpopular that Democratic victory will be almost guaranteed. But how the Dems play it, makes a big difference - they can only maximize at the POTUS or Congress positions, but likely not both:

  1. **Maximize at POTUS: **“We’re almost certain to win the White House, so let’s get as far-left a president as possible.” But in return the Democrats might get only a slim majority in Congress, or even perhaps no majority.

  2. ** Maximize at Congress: **Nominate a more centrist president, who will have more coattails, and get more of a Congressional majority.

I think the democrats should choose an amiable ideologue, someone in the vein of Joe Biden (Biden/Warren was my ideal ticket for 2016, Bernie was my runner-up.) Maybe Jeff Merkley, if he acquits himself well over the next two years. I see no advantage in choosing a centrist deal-maker, we all saw how well that worked with Hillary (the candidate, not the caricature.)

We currently have two identifiable ideological camps with their own Overton Windows. In between reside the non-partisan, who can be swayed by personalities or the stray argument that resonates with their concerns. Trump proved that they can also be enticed by personal attacks and theatrical outrage. There are true policy debates within the left wing and within the right wing; showmanship wins the “center”. The republicans have claimed that space. My opinion: let them keep it.

That’s not to say that messaging isn’t important - we’ve failed, and failed hard, on that front. We can and should improve, but not at the cost of a consistent core philosophy or the ability to provide good governance (is there any better example of the danger of succumbing to this temptation than the current GOP?) The goal shouldn’t be to snag an undecided voter or two in any given election cycle with jolly little nicknames for our opponents, but to contrast the steadfast and sometimes boring sensibleness of Obama’s Democratic party against the gaudiness and mercurialness of Trump’s GOP. Can you imagine if Biden were ten years younger right now? We don’t need someone lukewarm, with a 50% purity rating from every different policy group, but someone who can repeat the words “Empathy, Sanity, Rationality” loudly and clearly to usher that non-committal middle into our Overton Window. Given Trump’s approval ratings with independents, they seem fired up and ready to go.

I’ve already outlined some steps in this regard:

TL;DR: Focus on bread and butter issues. Centre the common man and woman. Chase after natural Democrats (the working-class) not Republicans whose only liberal stances are abortion and gay marriage.

I guess trump is in news for all wrong reasons these days. That makes things quite easy for their opposition

I’m pretty sure the “he” above refers to Trump, not DeVos. And no, she didn’t correct herself; she resorted to repeating the meaningless phrase “I believe in accountability” in response to questioning. And her appointment was a perfect example of what is wrong with the current administration and Congressional Republicans’ willingness to support it no matter what.

Back on topic: The problem that the Democrats face is that they haven’t focused on controlling the narrative, which is what wins elections. As recent events demonstrate, it doesn’t matter whether you lie or tell the truth or something in between as long as you tell a story that speaks to people. So people think the GOP are the party of the working class and that Clinton didn’t care about people’s jobs despite the fact that the GOP have a long history of screwing over the working class in order to benefit the rich and the topic Clinton spoke the most about during the campaign was jobs. The truth didn’t matter. The narrative did.

Obama understood this, and gave us “Hope and Change”. It didn’t matter whether it meant anything or not; like “Make America Great Again” it was a theme that resonated and which allowed people to project their expectations on it. If the Democrats want to win, they need to find the right theme - in 2018 and in 2020 - that will resonate with what voters think they want.

Having policies that will actually improve the lives of those voters is an obvious bonus but that’s not enough to win elections. A good story backed by lies will win over a weak story backed by substance every time.