Let us assume – well, actually, I’m not assuming this; I’m expecting it – that a Republican wins the Presidential election in 2016. Also assume (I am not quite expecting this) that the Senate stays Republican in the process. Real quick: who is going to be the Democratic nominee in 2020?
This is not actually a facetious question. The top two contenders for the Democratic nomination (Clinton and Biden) will simply be too old to run in 2020 (they’re also too old in 2016, but never mind that right now). The next obvious step is to look to the governors… but right now there isn’t a viable Democratic candidate in the bunch. The RGA had a good year, and the DGA a bad one: which becomes relevant because the Presidential crop in 2020 will be heavily dependent on which Democratic candidates won this year. It takes time to build an executive record in state government; so even if the Democrats have a good year in 2018 it won’t benefit them until 2024.
And, again, this isn’t facetious. One reason why I’m chipper about 2016 is because we elected a lot of Republican governors in 2009 and 2010 and got most of them through 2014 intact. We will have plenty of potential Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates for the 2016 election cycle. And even if we somehow do lose in 2016 (I think that we will not lose) we will still have a good selection for 2020.
Meanwhile, the Democrats? – I dunno. Maybe they can try to nominate another liberal from Massachusetts. That always ends well for them.