Only One Democrat Could Defeat President Trump

Anthony Palazzola, Maroon-News Staff

America is a diverse country. It encompasses differences in race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, income level, profession and community (urban, suburban, or rural). Thus, candidates for president must form a coalition of different demographic groups to have any chance of winning the general election. Such necessary coalition building was seen most clearly in President Obama’s 2008 victory, in which he won men, women, urban voters, suburban voters, working-class voters, coastal elites, Catholics, Jews, atheists, liberals, moderates, LGBTQ voters, heterosexual voters, minority voters and 43 percent of white voters.

Therefore, if Democrats have any realistic chance of defeating an incumbent president, their nominee has to either replicate or expand the Obama Coalition. However, most of the leading potential Democratic candidates so far seem unlikely to attain such a coalition. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who already announced her campaign for the presidency, has limited appeal beyond the intelligentsia and those who favor anti-corruption as their top issue. California Senator Kamala Harris will struggle to increase her support beyond the liberal West Coast, women and immigrants. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who during his time in office took on the teachers union and embraced the stop-and-frisk police practice, will have a hard time gaining support among big labor and minorities. The moderate Midwest, which tipped the election to Donald Trump in 2016, will most likely reject Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrandtwo far-left Northeastern progressives. In turn, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and her Midwestern values will probably be too difficult to stomach for the coastal elites. Former Vice President Joe Biden, despite being highly popular within the Democratic Party, will likely be derailed within the primary by far-left progressives because he fits the “old white man” status. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders may also suffer from the same status. Finally, former Representative Beto O’Rourke was competitive in his Senate race in Texas because he offered a centrist alternative to the extremely conservative Sen. Ted Cruz. That centrism will presumably not win the nomination of a party that, according to Gallup, favors socialism more than capitalism.

Due to the inability among all these potential candidates to unite the Democratic Party and thus a portion of the Obama Coalition, I predict that President Trump would defeat every one of them in the general election. But he is not invincible. There is one potential candidate who has the best name recognition, the most unifying vision for Democrats and the most appeal in suburbia. She just wrote a book that brought her across the country, laying the groundwork for a national campaign. No, I am not talking about former Secretary Hillary Clinton. I am talking about the woman married to the man who built the Obama Coalition, someone from whom she can borrow significant political capital. I am talk- ing about former First Lady Michelle Obamathe one and only potential candidate who could defeat President Trump.

Contact Anthony Palazzola at [email protected]