The problem is relying on the voters. I have always belied that if you are going to run as a Democrat you stick to the middle to get the job then have at it. Unfortunately I suspect that this may not work any better but, at least, you are more assured of winning (unless you are fortunate to run in a really leftist area which is often not all that easy to determine.

Basically, the middle has always been a better place to be. This makes sense, particularly when running as a democrat as much of the middle votes there too.

Betting on the mythic American voting public has, pretty much, always been a loser (unless the Republics have REALLY screwed up the economy). Trump may have done that with the nation debt which is a real medal winner. I think, by the time he is done he will have contributed OVER a trillion dollars a year whilst reducing any security net stuff he was able to identify.