I'm not so sure that I see it unfolding the same way--I think it is more likely that the economy is getting better and will largely continue to do so for at least the next 3 years despite any horrible things Donald does, and that the voting population doesn't care how or why but better means the person in charge stays. The part that got me thinking, however, was a little lower down. She states:
...arguments about how the Democratic Party can build a winning coalition again. They tend to bear a suspiciously strong resemblance to whatever the speaker himself thinks is most important.I have a pretty strong feeling regarding climate change and science research being most important (the latter is very important for combating the former) but I don't think that has anything to do with building a winning coalition. The only way science in general and climate change specifically get to be a winning coalition is if/when half of Florida finds itself underwater (literally). Even then I'm not so sure.
I agree that economic populism is far more liberal than Democratic policy in general (and it can't even see Republican policy), but the general perception doesn't go that way. If you ask people if rich should be taxed the same, more or less, most people say more, but far fewer people vote that way. Similar issues arise with other economic issues, as well as with many other aspects that we talk about, like identity politics (people say racism is bad but lots of them voted for Trump).
I'm not sure how to win without pandering, or lying or disaffecting [millions] of Americans. Those are all things that Donald did constantly, and it was pointed out by everyone, and he still won (yes, I know, he actually lost the popular vote by a fair amount, but even still).
The real difference between the parties' campaigning is that Democrats treat the voting public as intelligent, while Republicans treat them like rubes. There isn't, therefore, anything that Democrats can do to change things short of having a better show. So long as a sizable fraction of our electorate are, in fact, gullible rubes, it is very difficult to win them over without some form of pandering, lying, and/or showmanship. The fact that an unqualified racist demagogue can win the presidency is proof positive that the show is of greater import than the message. Looking back it's pretty easy to see that as a factor to Obama's victories. It can also be easy to see it as a share of why Reagan, [Bill] Clinton and Dubbya won as well. Their shows were better.
There is certainly a lot to blame to throw at the media for this (that is where and how the show plays out afterall) but it doesn't change the fact that looking back to recent history, the better showman wins the election.
My opionon since the start of this mess a year ago was that Hillary Clinton could be a very good president--possibly one of our best--but she was a horrible candidate. No matter how well someone can do the job she has to win first.