Nonetheless, she did something that has given tough old Democrat strategists pause for thought: galvanised voters who had lost the habit of loyalty. Tom Perez, the Democrats’ chair, has embraced the insurgents as “the future of our party” and suggested that it is moving towards fielding candidates of different ideological hues in different races. The risk is not hard to see – a cacophony of voices with no single uniting message might get more Democratic candidates over the line in the midterm races, without beginning to answer the question of what kind of figure and platform the party is seeking for the next presidential race.
The sense of a retreating American Dream now available only to the well-to-do has echoes in Theresa May’s sporadic attempts to address the pressured lifestyles and budgets of “just about managing” workers in Britain or vaguely contoured attempts among centre-left thinkers to define an “inclusive capitalism”. The 2008 financial crash pushed this into sharp relief for a rising generation. When I speak to the admissions dean of a prestigious state university, he says “around a third” of students who enter on hardship schemes do so because their parents lost their homes in the wake of the sub-prime housing market collapse.