MICHAEL BARONE: What happens to the Democratic Party if Hillary loses?
The shock for Democrats will likely to be more severe than for Republicans if Trump loses. “Imagine the best candidate in your party losing to the weakest candidate in the other party,” speculates Dan McLaughlin at nationalreview.com, “after years of telling yourself that your party had unlocked the demographic code to a permanent majority.”
One option for Democrats would be to moderate their policies, as the New Democrats urged in the 1980s and Bill Clinton did in the 1990s. After all, that proved pretty successful. But the current Democratic electorate has little stomach for going back to that strategy.
Two decades ago, lots of self-described moderates and even conservatives voted in Democratic primaries. Not so these days. The slump in Democratic primary and caucus turnout, from 38 million in 2008 to 31 million in 2016, was due to a sharp decline in turnout by self-described moderates.
Well, if Hillary — old, sick, tired, boring, and generally unappealing — is “the best candidate in your party,” then there’s your problem. . .