According to an analysis published in Mother Jones, in a word, no. Not a snowball’s chance in hell.
Using the DW-NOMINATE system that ranks politicians by how liberal they are, nobody below 15 on their scale (meaning that they are less liberal than 15% of Congress) has ever won the presidency. Bernie Sanders scores a 1.
The next most liberal candidate for president was George McGovern, and he was crushed. Next was Walter Mondale, who was also crushed.
Every few years, the Democrats nominate someone is too far to the left of the country, and they lose, badly. So badly they become the butt of jokes. This is sad for us progressives, but it is just reality.
So if you think that Hillary Clinton lost because she wasn’t progressive enough to excite the Democratic Party, just remember that the Democratic Party is bigger than you might think, and includes lots of voters who are relatively conservative, even compared to Clinton.
The way to win elections is not to pick more progressive candidates. The way to win is to educate voters on the advantages of progressive policies, so they will support more progressive policies, and as a result, more progressive candidates.
UPDATE: Nate Silver has done an analysis of the voting trends before and after FBI Director James Comey sent his infamous letter to Congress. Silver stated that Comey’s letter had a “large, measurable impact on the race”. How large? Silver says that if Comey had kept quiet, then Hilary Clinton would have easily won. Silver has high credibility in this regard, as he was one of the few political analysts who predicted that Trump had a reasonable chance of winning. But when Comey’s letter was released, remaining voters turned away from Clinton, and by the time Comey sent his final letter saying that the “new” evidence was not significant, it was too late. Personally, I’m amazed that Comey has not lost his job.
Also published on Medium.