I think it is fair to say that that President Obama will stay and in the public eye over the next few years and thank god. Over the last four years the Democratic Party has been absolutely decimated in elections of all levels. They only bright spot was winning the Presidency and now even that is gone. Since 2008 Democrats have lost 10% of their Senators, 19% of their Representatives, 20% of their State Legislatures and 36% of their Governors.
In nominal terms, Democrats have a net loss of 13 Governorships, 9 Senators, 63 Representatives, 949 State Legislatures and 29 State Legislative Chambers. In fairness, as bad as these losses are only the loss of state seats in a record in the modern era.
All these loses translate to a basic reality; half the states are completely controlled by Republicans. As the Daily Kos pointed out, “Republicans control both chambers in 32 states, including 17 with veto-proof majorities. Those 32 states cover 61 percent of the U.S. population. Democrats, meanwhile, control the legislature in just 13 states, amounting to 28 percent of the country’s population; only four of those chambers have veto-proof majorities.”
That same reality means that Democrats completely control just five state governments.
To quote the same Daily Kos article, “Republicans have total control over 25 states outright and another two where they can override a Democratic governor’s vetoes. These 27 states cover 56 percent of the population. Meanwhile, Democrats have total control outright in a mere six states and veto-proof majorities to override a Republican governor in just two more. These eight Democratic-controlled states add up to only 19 percent of the population, or roughly one-third as much as Republicans control.”
All this leaves the Democrats with a small bench. While they have some Senators which can be a force in the future (Pocahontas, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker) and I do expect at least one, if not all three, to be eventually nominated by the Democrats for President they all share a major problem. Like Hillary Clinton these are progressives from left wing areas who advocate identity politics. I don’t think they can appeal to enough Americans outside the North East, West Coast and major cities to create a winning coalition.
On the other side of the coin the Republicans have plenty to draw from and have a great bench. From Speaker Paul Ryan, Senators Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Governors Greg Abbott, Susan Martinez and Nikki Haley I think the party will be a formidable threat in the future.