Losing party again wonders how they lost

Members of the Democratic party are coming up with their own theories about how their candidate lost the 2016 presidential election. People probably remember recently how Hillary Clinton and her staff blamed FBI Director James Comey for their defeat. In a message to supporters earlier this month, Mrs. Clinton said accusations made by Mr. Comey were baseless but they lost momentum for her. Indeed, an internal memo from the campaign showed data that seemed to back up the idea that late-breaking developments such as the FBI letter that the investigation into her emails was being re-opened was "one hurdle too many for us to overcome."

Even political commentator Michael Moore backed up a lot of what Clinton was saying.

The Electoral College is another target of blame from the Democrats. U.S. Senator from California Barbara Boxer filed legislation to repeal the College. Boxer's bill called for a Constitutional Amendment to scrap the college and do everything by popular vote. This isn't the first time Senator Boxer has done something like this, and it probably will be met with little success like it has in the past.

Well, now President Obama has decided to chime in. During a recent news conference in Berlin, the president said fake news is making it so that people can't discern between facts and propaganda. According to Obama, such confusion means that "we've got serious problems."

History repeats itself

This isn't anything new for either political party. After the loss in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney blamed 'gifts' President Obama gave to minorities and younger voters for his defeat.

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There was discussion in political circles about comments the former Massachusetts governor had made about what he called 47-percent of Americans getting government benefits who would apparently never vote for a Republican.

And let's also not forget how Democrats and liberals keep reminding us that John McCain would have won in 2008 if only he had not chosen Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee.

The pendulum swings

All of these observations are unfounded. Politicians are all keenly aware that political power swings back and forth between political parties every couple of election cycles and it follows patterns. On January 20th, 2017, Barack Obama will have held the White House for the Democrats for eight years. Before that, George W. Bush and the GOP had held power for eight years. Bill Clinton and the Democrats held the Oval Office for eight years before that, and Ronald Reagan was a Republican president for eight years prior. One can see a pattern.

What does it mean?

There are numerous theories about how political parties win and lose presidential elections and what compels voters to vote the way they do.

From the state of the economy to the power of the incumbent party to voter fatigue, political experts have numerous theories. But what does any of this mean for Democrats?

To start, most political parties in U.S. history don't lose the White House after only four years. Donald Trump will have the incumbency in 2020, the economy will likely be coming out of the next recession by that time, the Democrats don't look like they have any particularly charismatic politicians to run against him, and he probably will have major sweeping domestic policy change passed the way things are looking. Chances are, unless the man really is doing as poor a job of governing the country as Jimmy Carter or Benjamin Harrison, he probably will be re-elected in 2020.

Most parties don't make it in the White House longer than eight years, but they do tend to lose seats in the Congress in midterms. The best Democrats can really expect in the next eight years are victories in congressional midterms and some significant gains in state governments. Then in 2024, it's possible we all might be listening to soul-searching theories about what the Republicans need to do to change their party in a big way.