The 2016 Presidential primaries were a rebuke to moderates in both major political parties. Bernie Sanders, a sometime Democratic Socialist, built a grassroots movement that bitterly rejected the centrist Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, whose conservative credentials were deeply suspect, defeated sixteen Republican stalwarts. As the 2018 midterms approach, both parties are wrestling with the question of whether to rise with the tide of extremist sentiment, or run moderates to regain the center. Andrew Hall, an assistant professor of political science at Stanford, studies the effect of extremist candidates on elections. He tells The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson Sorkin that we may be asking the wrong questions.
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