The Dems have a branding problem

Time magazine's Molly Ball and Philip Elliott deconstruct the 2020 Democratic primary season

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Credit: Time, Inc.

Time magazine's latest issue, on newsstands tomorrow, arrives with an amusing cover illustration—look at all those wannabes!—but the story inside has a serious message: The Dems have a branding problem.

In "The Biggest Field Yet. No Frontrunner. A Divided Base. Welcome to the 2020 Democratic Primary," Molly Ball and Philip Elliott write,

The party's very identity is up for grabs, as a vast and historically diverse crop of candidates brings big, new ideas to a demanding, divided base. "The Democratic Party is going through a very large transformation," says party operative Simon Rosenberg, who's backed the winning candidate in every primary since 1988 but has no favorite this time. "The era of Clinton and Obama is ending and ceding to a new set of dynamics. A new Democratic Party is being forged in front of our eyes."

Though Joe Biden "holds a wide lead in early polling," he, of course, represents the past—the era of Clinton and Obama—not the future.

And the bottom line is that "More than anything—more than policy or charisma or age or race or gender—Democratic voters say they care about whether a candidate can beat Donald Trump. The problem is nobody knows how to beat Trump in an election, because nobody's ever done it."

In other words, being anti-Trump is certainly a unifying stance for Democrats, but it's not exactly an organizing principle or branding proposition for a party that's trying to reinvent itself—but doesn't quite know how.

Keep reading here.

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