With hours to go until Americans head to the polls, a Democratic strategist on CNN warned the party would expect “a bad night” after months of not listening to voters.
“I’m not happy. I just think we didn’t listen to voters in this election,” Hilary Rosen told CNN on Sunday. “And I think we’re going to have a bad night if voters tell you over and over that they care most about the economy. Listen to them. Stop talking about the democracy at stake.”
“Outnumbered” replied, arguing that the Democrats’ messages were unrelated to the key issues facing voters.
“This ‘democracy is dying’ [motto] is the new ‘defund the police’ [that] we saw in 2020,” said co-host Kayleigh McEnany. “Police funding failed.”
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“The Democrats saw this as a game,” argued co-host Emily Compagno. “But the Republicans didn’t do that all the time. They listened to the American people.”
A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed that Americans largely view inflation as the top problem facing this country. Abortion came in as a second topic, but with considerably less attention than economics.
Democrats have tightened their coverage of abortion and threats to democracy, in many cases in an effort to avoid conversations about crime, inflation, economics and education. Election integrity and voter impressions have also been topics of discussion in the Democrats’ latest pitch to voters.
Critics of the messages come from both sides of the aisle.
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“The thing is, there’s a misalignment of messages here, with voters saying one thing and the Democratic Party saying something completely different,” McEnany said.
“This government has never said I hear you or I even listen, but instead they said: here you have to vote, this is what you have to care about, and we make you the enemy because you even dare to think differently. ” said Compagno.
In addition to criticizing the “misalignment” of Democrats’ priorities, critics have also highlighted the ineffective obsession with President Trump and MAGA supporters.
“It’s a way to allay people’s concerns about Trump, because no one motivates Democrats better than Donald Trump,” said Brit Hume, senior political analyst at TBEN News. “You motivate a lot of Republicans, but he motivates Democrats even more.”
“So they would like the election to be more about him.”
Top leaders, including President Biden, former President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have redoubled anti-GOP rhetoric in tandem with “threat to democracy” messages.
Compagno pointed out, however, that Democrats have funneled huge sums of money into MAGA Republicans’ campaigns.
“If it was such a threat to democracy if the GOP got seats in the House and seats in the Senate, why did that party fund billions to put those names on the ballot if it was really existential, if it was real? was a battle for the soul of America?? asked Compagno.
As the final hours until the midterms are over, the ballots will decide whether the Democrats’ messages resonate with voters. Polls still show control of Congress and key gubernatorial races as a toss-up.
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Hume concluded with skepticism that the final message to voters will succeed.
“They keep saying democracy is on the agenda,” Hume said. “Truth is, democracy is the mood.”
Andrew Mark Miller and Ronn Blitzer of TBEN News contributed to this report.