Lessons from the 2016 General Election and the DNC’s Nomination Process

Many political observers have repeatedly said that in the 2016 general election, the Republican party did not win due to Donald Trump being a highly qualified and an exceptional candidate, but rather, as a result of Hillary Clinton being a terrible, non-electable opponent.

To illustrate the above statements, let us outline three key points about the former Democratic nominee, which should have at least made her party think twice before making her the face of the party in 2016.

First is that her approval rating was not much higher than that of her opponent Donald Trump. Second is that her chances of convincing many of the black and Latino voters to return to the polls was always going to be a huge challenge, many of whom voted for the first time for Barack Obama. Thirdly, and equally as important as the previous two points, those moderate Republicans and independents, who might have voted for a more moderate candidate, were either not going to vote at all, or if they did, were going to vote for Donald Trump.

Thus, had the Democratic National Committee (DNC) allowed the electoral system to work harmoniously within the political ecosystem or studied the core collective political behavioural trends of voters; then perhaps a candidate such as Bernie Sanders could have won the Democratic nomination and possibly triumphed in the general election.

However, Bernie Sanders, or any other outside candidate, was never given a chance to become the nominee. This is in spite of being far more electable as in the case of Bernie Sanders, based on the opinions of savvy political observers, as well as the countless political models and analyses that were available to the DNC.

Nevertheless, despite the current voting topography which we, as analysts, are continuing to observe, the nitty gritty of 2016 is once again facing the DNC in this upcoming election.

The 2020 Race for President

This leads us now to the 2020 general election between President Donald Trump and whoever is selected from the current pool of candidates currently positioning themselves for the Democratic nomination.

From our vantage point, it is clear that the lessons of 2016 have not been studied by the DNC. Moreover, there is an apparent callous ignorance of the facts which point to the political landscape making a clear shift towards non-traditional and non-establishment politicians, and that 2016 was just the tip of the iceberg.

Yet the establishment within the DNC is seemingly operating on an antiquated status quo platform with little regards for market analysis. For example, as we write this post, Joe Biden a 77-year career politician is being touted by the DNC and the liberal media, as a real and viable candidate to challenge the incumbent president. If only the DNC paid closer attention to the collective human dynamics in theoretical and real-life politics, they would realize that most advanced metrics and analyses are suggesting that this is a bad idea.

The Challenges for Nontraditional Politicians

For our readers who are new to politics, it might be beneficial if we illustrate at this point some of the challenges candidates must face when trying to become a Democratic nominee.

For instance, in order to get on the debating stage with fellow nominees, a candidate must have at least 65000 unique donors contributing to their campaign. But that in and of itself may not even be enough because, as the debate schedule gets closer, the DNC may increase their requirements for participation. This is where money, the media and political influence become a deciding factor and where the anti-establishment candidates are disadvantaged.

It is like a political obstacle course, where only those who play by the establishment aristocratic rules have assured a place at the podium.

Also, if a highly qualified candidate meets all of these requirements, but too many candidates throw their names into the mix, the DNC can decide by proxy to move the goal posts and exclude whom they deem to be not acceptable. It is like a political obstacle course, where only those who play by the establishment aristocratic rules have assured a place at the podium.

Ask Tulsi Gabbard, who, by all market-oriented metrics, seems to be head and shoulders above most of the other Democratic nominees. Nevertheless, she is not a favourite of the Democratic establishment due to her anti-war stance and her Middle East policy, two extremely important stances which most Americans agree with.

Even though she is more likely to defeat the incumbent president in 2020 compared to an entrenched establishment candidate, the DNC seemed to be willing to roll the dice in favour of a candidate who is more consistent with their traditional views, regardless of the outcome. Surely if this is not the definition of madness, it is certainly internal political sabotage, or incompetence at the bare minimum.


As the old saying goes, failure to understand history is one sure way of repeating it. In other words, if the DNC continues with its political marketing strategy in selecting nominees, then the 2020 presidential outcome could be a repeat of 2016.

We here at ICPM are not endorsing any candidate for the US general election. What we do here is to present an objective view from a political marketing perspective, so that our readers can view the landscape from a neutral analytical position and become more informed about politics and political marketing.

Let us know your views on the US Democratic process and the US 2020      presidential election, we would love to hear from you!


Tadej · 14. August, 2019 at 22:25

Great article Daniel. Thank you very much for sharing.

Saperstein33975 · 28. September, 2019 at 18:48

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…

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