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I don't think I agree with your characterization of 2016. I don't think Trump was perceived as a moderate at all. I think he gave voice to the racist portion of the population, with some overlap with the group that was fed-up with "business as usual" and wanted an "outsider". In terms of campaign talk, he harped on border security with overlap into jobs (even though they are almost completely unrelated...undocumented workers are not taking coal miner jobs from folks in West Virginia), and also promised "better healthcare for less money".

They thing to learn here is "jobs" and "healthcare". I don't see either as radically progressive topics. I think the Dems did learn that in 2018, so they took the House, and if they carry forward to 2020 they might have a chance without a recession. With a recession, and that campaign talk, they almost certainly will win. Recessions are bad for incumbents.

Biden is "business as usual", and will not appeal, IMO. Minority voters certainly aren't going to come out for him. You would have to have a recession for him to beat Trump.

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