Wilson: Obama coalition could return despite Clinton loss

Story highlights

  • Reid Wilson discussed what makes Donald Trump 'lightning in a bottle'
  • The Hill national correspondent said Democrats need to work on their bench

Party People is a new podcast from CNN where a pair of conservative CNN contributors talk to influential voices about the future of conservatism and the Republican party.

(CNN)The Hill national correspondent Reid Wilson said that just because Hillary Clinton failed to reassemble the Obama coalition enough to propel her to victory doesn't mean that diverse group of voters won't be enough to help the next Democratic candidate win.

"I think that there's a case to be made that the Obama coalition still exists," Wilson told CNN's "Party People" podcast hosts Kevin Madden and Mary Katherine Ham in a recent conversation.
"But it only serves Obama," Madden responded.
    "It has so far only served Obama," Reid added. "If you're the Republican party, though, do you really want to be betting that it will not serve somebody else down the road and just go ahead continue alienating African-Americans and Hispanics and Asians and women and basically everyone else who made up that core Obama vote. Sure, it didn't show up for (Clinton). That's not to say it won't show up in the next election."
    Wilson cited The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein's description of the groups supporting Obama as the "Coalition of the Ascendant," though Wilson told Madden and Ham that that coalition "hadn't ascended yet" in regards to the 2016 electorate. Those changing demographics could however be in place as soon as the next election cycle.
    While that might not be good news for Republicans, Wilson sees plenty of work for Democrats to do in developing their political bench in time for the next election.
    "Where is that bench? That bench lost in 2010 and 2014," Wilson said, citing years where Republicans had more luck stocking governor's mansions and state legislatures with more rising stars than Democrats.
    Wilson also warned that Trump is largely "lightning in a bottle" -- managing to take advantage of "the dominant medium of the moment" in order to win -- and warns political strategists not to think his strategy is necessarily repeatable.
    "I think strategists on both sides are going to ... learn the wrong lessons now," Wilson said. "It's going to come back and bite somebody in the you know what next time around and then hopefully they'll learn the right lessons."
    To hear what Wilson thinks those lessons are and his thoughts on Trump's first 100 days in office, listen to CNN's "Party People" podcast.
    Get CNN's "Party People" podcast at CNN, Stitcher, TuneInRadio or iTunes. Madden also referenced previous episodes including interview with the Republican National Committee's Katie Walsh and American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, which you can listen to here.