If progressives were to become empiricists, they would look at the symptoms of the last election and come up with disinterested diagnoses, therapies, and prognoses.
Although their hard-left candidate won the popular vote, even that benchmark was somewhat deceiving — given the outlier role of California and the overwhelming odds in their favor. The Republicans ran a candidate who caused a veritable civil war in their ranks and who was condemned by many of the flagship conservative media outlets. Trump essentially ran against a united Democratic party, the Republican establishment, the mainstream media (both liberal and conservative) — and won.
Not that Hillary did not try to copy Obama’s formula. She brought on Obama politicos to staff her campaign. She supported all the Obama initiatives, from Obamacare and record debt to a collapsed foreign policy. She spoke in a faux-inner city accent the same way Obama had to get out the African-American vote. She outdid Obama’s clinger speech by her own twist of “deplorables” and “irredeemables.” She returned to her own hard-left phase of the 1990s. Yet she was trounced in the electoral college and saw the fabled “blue wall” crumble.