You must be kicking yourself that Bernie’s not the Democratic nominee right now

Democrats may have underestimated how little Americans trust Hillary Clinton, and how frustrated they are with establishment politics

As the election results pour in, Americans everywhere are on the edge of their seats. Leading up to election day, the majority of polls were showing a tight race. However, the overall consensus seemed to be that Hillary Clinton would be the next President of the United States. With several tight contests in critical battleground states, and many states still too close to call, things are beginning to look precarious for the Clinton campaign.

So how did we get to this point, where a man who has bragged about assaulting women and has zero political experience is beating one of the most influential politicians of the last two decades?

Perhaps the biggest mistake Democrats made this year was not adapting to the rapidly shifting landscape of the American electorate. The overwhelming success of Bernie Sanders, and even Trump, shows that Americans are deeply frustrated with the political establishment and the status quo.

What made Bernie Sanders so successful was his ability to tap into this frustration by focusing on issues of class in America. In a time with such pervasive income inequality, focusing on the 99 percent is a much more populist message that resonates with people in rural, suburban and urban areas. Hillary has taken on much of Sanders agenda after it was absorbed into the Democratic National platform over the summer, but his message of fighting for middle class definitely lost some steam when the torch was passed.

Americans want change – and apparently many believe Donald Trump is going to deliver it.

Ithaca College