3. By winning the popular vote convincingly in 2016, Hillary Clinton has earned the right to be considered the presumptive nominee in 2020.
As I wrote in September, Clinton is the first defeated presidential candidate to win the popular vote without being automatically considered a frontrunner in the next election. Two of the previous four popular vote-winning also-rans were actually elected in the subsequent cycle (Andrew Jackson in 1828 and Grover Cleveland in 1892), while two others were widely regarded as frontrunners before dropping out for personal reasons (Samuel Tilden and Al Gore).
Let us not forget that, for all of the smack talk about how poorly Clinton ran her campaign, she bested Trump by nearly 3 million votes. This was no razor-thin margin of victory, but a decisive expression of the American public’s preference. In terms of percentage points, her margin of victory was roughly comparable to that by which Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford in 1976 or George W. Bush beat John Kerry in 2004. She also held Trump to a lower percentage of the popular vote than that garnered by Mitt Romney in 2012.