But the difficulty a Democrat faces succeeding Obama is perhaps the party’s most difficult hurdle, and also the most surprising. Many analysts believed that 2008 signaled a generation-long Democratic breakthrough. That seems less plausible today. In the long run, demography suggests the Republicans are in trouble. In the short run, the issues suggest the Democrats may be in trouble.
North Shore native and Pulitzer Prize winner David M. Shribman is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.