The historic 2016 election suggests very strongly that despite the relatively close popular vote and somewhat wider, but still significant electoral margin, Democrats need to rethink their politics, policies and approach.

The November 8 election result is the rejection of the left of the Democratic party that calls for the redistribution of wealth, free college, a $15 minimum wage and embraces unions to the exclusion of ordinary people. Americans sent a clear signal that they are looking for our nation to project strength in foreign policy, a marquee issue for Donald Trump.

But most of all, the outcome reflects a clear sense that the Democratic party cannot and will not be able to win elections unless it moves back to the center of the electorate.

I recognize that I am a lonely person. I did make clear during the campaign that I could not vote for Hillary Clinton, but that I am still a Democrat. But I am a Democrat of the Henry Jackson, Warren Magnuson, Hubert Humphrey and Bill Clinton wing. Not the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wing which demonizes corporations and rejects policies that would create jobs and strengthen our economy.

I recognize that I am a lonely person. I did make clear during the campaign that I could not vote for Hillary Clinton, but that I am still a Democrat. But I am a Democrat of the Henry Jackson, Warren Magnuson, Hubert Humphrey and Bill Clinton wing. Not the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wing which demonizes corporations and rejects policies that would create jobs and strengthen our economy.

The Democrats now have to put aside partisanship and seek to find common ground with Donald Trump on issues like immigration, tax reform on both corporate and individual level and most of all on infrastructure given our crumbling roads, bridges and highways. There is so much more that we can work on together than politicians acknowledge and a majority of Americans have long wished that politicians in Washington would work with one another.

Indeed, it will simply alienate voters if the Democrats adopt a policy of extreme confrontation with a new president whom the American people – whatever their worldview – want to succeed.

The Democrats have to make it clear that they will seek consensus and compromise.
For the Democratic party to feel in any way that the closeness of the race is an indication that they should accept the politics of the far left would be a profound mistake.

Let me be clear, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t have won this election. Their agenda does not appeal to Americans. Period.

To this end, in one sense, the far left agenda contributed greatly to Secretary Clinton’s loss and it’s certainly one of the reasons that we need a change in the party if we are to return to the strength and ideological and substantive positioning the party achieved in the 1990s when I worked for Bill Clinton.

I look forward to big changes for the Democrats that will make us a stronger, more unified party. 

Douglas E. Schoen has served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton. He has more than 30 years experience as a pollster and political consultant. He is also a Fox News contributor and co-host of "Fox News Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel at 7 pm ET. He is the author of 13 books. His latest is "Putin's Master Plan" (Encounter Books, September 27, 2016). Follow Doug on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.