For the last eight years, Democrats have hitched their wagon to Barack Obama.
And Obama won two Presidential elections.
But after the dust settled in 2016, Americans handed Obama and the Democrats one of the most massive defeats in American political history.
When Barack Obama took office in 2008, the Democrats controlled everything.
The party held a massive majority in the House and a 60-seat super majority in the Senate.
Democrats also controlled a majority of the Governorships and state legislature seats in America.
However, by 2016, Democrats have been reduced to rubble at both the national and state levels.
University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato – who runs the Crystal Ball election forecasting site – laid out the depth of the Democrats defeat:
“As we pointed out after the 2014 midterm election, the Democratic bench has taken an unprecedented hit during President Obama’s time in office. The numbers have worsened slightly following Obama’s final election as a part of the political environment. With most 2016 results in (adding projections for some uncalled races based on who is ahead at this point), the damage is as follows: a net loss of 13 governorships, nine Senate seats, 63 House seats, 949 seats in state legislatures, and 29 state legislative chambers. Some other modern presidents lost more governorships, Senate seats, and state legislative chambers, but none has lost more net House seats and — especially — state legislative seats. Having lost close to 1,000 (!) seats in legislatures around the country, the Democratic Party has a weak bench from which to groom future party stars for higher office. Table 5 lays out the comparable losses — and in some cases victories — of other modern presidents compared to the outgoing one.”
Obama’s effect on the Democrat Party was toxic.
Their down ballot performance in the elections held during Obama’s time in office was the worst of any President going back to Eisenhower.
Obama’s personal charisma and appeal to minority voters papered over just how unpopular his policies and the Democratic brand actually were.
One of the main drivers of the Democrats’ electoral wipeouts in the age of Obama was ObamaCare.
In 2010 and 2014, Republicans framed the election as a referendum on ObamaCare.
In 2010, the GOP gained a net total of 63 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate.
This was a historic victory.
The ObamaCare scheme was a political albatross that continued to haunt Democrats.
In 2014, the GOP again centered their campaign on winning the Senate and protecting their House majority so they could continue the fight to repeal ObamaCare.
That led to a historic win of 9 seats in the Senate and 13 seats in the House.
The only election the GOP lost in the age of Obama was the 2012 election where establishment Republican’s foisted Mitt Romney – the man who invented ObamaCare – as their party nominee.
With ObamaCare taken off the table, Republicans spiraled to defeat in the fall.
By the time 2016 rolled around, all the pundits assumed the Democrats “coalition of the ascendant”, which consisted of minorities, millennials, and college educated voters, provided the party an electoral lock.
These same “experts” claimed Trump was playing a losing hand by trying to turn out massive numbers of working class white voters with an “America First” message in opposition to global trade deals, amnesty, and foreign wars.
But on Election Day, Trump won a stunning Electoral College victory – winning more Electoral College votes than any Republican since 1988 – and snatching the White House from Democratic control.
The aftermath of the contest forced pundits to reckon with the fact that the Obama Presidency was a disaster for Democrats.
His focus on identity politics, globalist policies, and cosmopolitan liberalism hollowed out the Democrat Party to a small club clustered in coastal urban areas with little influence in any part of the country between New York and Los Angeles.