PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

Learning from Loss: The Democrats, 2016–2020, Seth Masket

Reviewed by Daniel J. Lee

BUY

 

Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election was an unexpected result, particularly to those within the Democratic Party. Learning from Loss puts that outcome into perspective by assessing how it ultimately led to a white, male, and (relatively) moderate 2020 Democratic presidential nominee in Joe Biden.

Seth Masket recounts the main explanations given for Clinton's loss, such as poor campaign tactics, an overemphasis on identity politics, sexism/racism toward candidates, Bernie Sanders's impact, and exogenous events like Russian interference and James Comey's letter regarding Clinton's private email server. Rather than assess their actual impact on the election outcome, Masket highlights the importance of postelection narratives, demonstrating how those narratives influenced the 2020 Democratic nomination. That is, what did party activists believe to be the cause of Clinton's loss, and how did those beliefs contribute to Biden's nomination?

Masket utilizes the UCLA School's party theoretical framework, outlined in works such as The Party Decides—which direction the party takes (that is, who they nominate) depends upon the collective action and coordination of party activists and groups, who shower favored candidates with endorsements and campaign money, conseque

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

ROBERT Y. SHAPIRO

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

A Purple Agenda For The Next Four Years
June 20, 2024
7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. ET
WEBINAR

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

Editor’s spotlight

Virtual Issue

Introduction: Black Power and the Civil Rights Agendas of Charles V. Hamilton
Marylena Mantas and Robert Y. Shapiro

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

China in a World of Great Power Competition   CHINA IN A WORLD OF GREAT POWER COMPETITION

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS