If you aren't a Trump supporter, I'm sure you remember the shock of election night in 2016. For me, it was a night that encompassed crying, staying up without my parents in order to see if by some miracle it all changed, and constantly checking every single news source to find some alternative reality. The only thing that helped my frustration with that night was the hope of the 2020 presidential election and the assurance that the Democrats would be smart enough to beat Trump at their second try. Here we are almost four years later and I have lost my expectation that the Democrats will win the presidency in 2020.
When the research came out concluding the kind of voter that elected Trump and the mathematical reasons Clinton could not win, it became clear that there were fundamental flaws in the way the Democrats had campaigned. It is no secret that white voters elected Trump. He received a majority of the votes in every class of white Americans regardless of their economic status. Democrats typically rely on non-white votes, which is how Obama was elected in both 2008 and 2012. Hillary's campaign relied on continuing that turnout, but non-white voters simply did not support Hillary in the way that Democrats needed.
Non-white voters face several obstacles when voting in American elections. Between laws against felons voting, ID laws, work hours, and transportation to voting locations, non-white voters have to be particularly inspired to cast their vote. Clinton simply did not provide the motivation that Obama did, and the Democrats could not possibly have legally removed every single roadblock non-white voters experience in placing their vote before the election. These laws are not going to change before 2020 either.
Trump did not actually beat Clinton when it comes to the popular vote, he was just smarter in pursuing a winning distribution of votes in order to win the electoral college. It's not that Clinton didn't have enough support, it's that she didn't have support in the right places. Clinton won big states with a lot of electoral college votes and urban areas, while Trump won lots of in-between states. Trump also beat Clinton in both suburban and rural areas by significant margins. The urban voter voted for Clinton, but that wasn't enough to win her the middle of the country. Appealing to voters from small towns and rural America is different than to urban voters. The Democrats' message of inclusivity and acceptance does not apply to the problems experienced by people in predominantly white towns in middle America, most of whom have never experienced the diversity of city life.
With the candidates thus far, the Democrats are not in a place to win in 2020. The candidates are still attempting to push boundaries, trying to be the first female or gay President and emphasizing equality. This is not what the Trump voter wants to hear or gets excited by, and we need to win over the Trump voter in order to beat Trump. I am a Democrat through and through and I never advocate for abandoning our platforms and beliefs. However, I feel that some situations are dire and a Trump White House is something that Democrats need to eradicate as quickly as possible. This is not the time to take risks, it is the time to find a safe, traditional candidate who advocates for Democratic ideology but who can relate to middle America. We need some who white working-class voters can trust and someone who goes beyond the reach of the ideal urban Democrat.