A familiar landscape slightly rearranged

Last night, John observed that, although there was a lot of talk earlier this year about “transformational” candidates, “what is notable about the electoral landscape, as we now see it, is how little transformed it is.” That’s an excellent point — the current state of play suggests that this year’s race might well be another close one with, for the most part, the same swing states determining the outcome.

I add just one caveat. This year, for the second election in a row, a plainly leftist Democratic candidate seems to be within reasonable shouting distance of the White House. Prior to 2004, this had not happened in decades. Moreover, the Republican candidate who is managing to stay competitive in the usual swing states is only moderately conservative and is not trusted by much of the conservative base.

Thus, although this election currently looks a lot like the last two, we can detect a little bit of transformation.

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