A CNN analyst has declared a "five-alarm fire" for the Democratic Party after it suffered significant losses on Election Night, saying its members appear "annoying" and "out of touch" to voters.
CNN's Van Jones made the remarks on Election Night as Republicans were sweeping three Virginia statewide offices – governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general – and as the New Jersey governor's race was closer than expected.
Both states have been Democratic strongholds in recent years.
"I think that Democrats are coming across in ways that we don't recognize – that are annoying and offensive and seem out of touch in ways that I don't think show up in our feeds when we're looking at in our kind of echo chamber," Jones said, holding his phone and referencing social media. "And I think this is a message here."
Republican Glenn Youngkin won a gubernatorial race that he trailed, in polling averages, by five points on Oct. 1. The election seemed to turn when his challenger, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, said during a debate, "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach kids." The comment – seen as a major gaffe – became part of Youngkin's closing message to voters about education.
Jones, a Democrat and a best-selling author, said the results should concern the party.
"These numbers are bad. ... These are our voters. These are voters that came to us, in 2018, came to us in 2020, and have abandoned us in droves in two states that should be in our column," he said. "That's a big deal. ... That is a five-alarm fire."
Jones noted that former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, recovered from the 1994 midterm shellacking – Republicans took the House for the first time since 1952 – to win re-election in 1996.
The Democratic Party, he said, must "wake up tomorrow morning and figure out how can we run back to regular folks."
"We've got to both from a legislative point of view, and from a messaging point of view, start re-signaling with ordinary folks that we get it," he said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Nicholas Hunt/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.