The 2016 Presidential Election Won't be Easy

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

signs pointing in directions

Let History Be the Guide: The 2016 Presidential Election Will Not Be Easy

While there has been a lot of hype that says Democrats have the 2016 Presidential Election in the bag and the electoral map is stacked in our favor, a simple look in the history book says otherwise. In the history of the modern presidency, after being in power for two terms, the party in power has flipped more often than not, with a couple notable exceptions.

Now, losing in the 2016 Presidential Election is not a foregone conclusion and this is not a knock at all on a potential nominee. My point is we need to come together as a movement, and quickly.

The Republicans did an excellent job of avoiding social issues in the 2014 elections and, frankly, Democrats avoided talking about what voters cared about to their own peril.

But I am not going to rehash 2014. You can read my thoughts about it here. But my point is that we need to learn from it and take lessons from history. Here are a few historical observations for 2016:

We Must Change the Game: We can’t play the Republican’s game of addressing their issues. We must play on our turf. This is what the President has started to do now, and it is working for him. For instance, he pushed forward on immigration reform, even though it is an issue that many Republicans would prefer to not talk about.

Get a Message: The Republican’s message is aspirational. Yes, I know this sounds cynical, but Republicans have done a good job of using aspirational messaging to advance what are often divisive stances. For instance, Republicans believe that voters will empathize with the rich even if they are not yet rich themselves. Many folks believe that some day they will be rich, so why not protect themselves now?

Issues like minimum wage and income inequality are important and present a compelling argument for Democrats, but they alone are not enough to trump the Republican's message. Democrats need to get back to a message that inspires and ignites debate.

For a long time, Democrats were seen as protectors of the middle class and working people. In the 2016 Presidential Election, this group will be an important constituency. Unfortunately, over time we have lost many of those voters and we need to work to develop a message that will help get them back.

Stay on the Offense: People like politicians who take a stand and they don't like politicians who seem wishy washy. In order to be successful in the 2016 Presidential Election, we need to develop a clear and compelling message and be sure we are using it to stay on the offensive.

For the Democrats to win in the 2016 Presidential Election, we need to develop a national message that resonates and stick to it. We can’t be afraid to take on issues or take bold stances. In order to win, we need to learn from history and develop a message that will inspire.

Have ideas and thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election? Drop us a line!