Former Clinton pollster Schoen warns voters view Democratic Party as ineffective and out of touch

Overall, 85% of likely midterm voters said they were somewhat or very concerned about crime.

Updated: March 13, 2022 - 10:44pm

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The Democrats are likely to face substantial losses in the upcoming midterms as voters view the party as "ineffective and out of touch," former Clinton pollster Douglas Schoen and his firm's partner, Carly Cooperman, warned Sunday in an op-ed for The Hill.

"Indeed, the findings of our survey — which was conducted among likely 2022 midterm election voters — show that the electorate is increasingly pessimistic about the direction in which President Biden and Democrats are steering the country and feel that the party’s priorities do not align with their own," Schoen and Cooperman wrote.

While 18% of respondents to Schoen Cooperman Research's March survey said Biden and the Democratic Party should move further to the left, 54% said Biden and the Democrats should move to the center.

Also alarming for Democrats, 61% of likely midterm voters agreed with the following statement: "Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are out of touch with hardworking Americans. They have been so focused on catering to the far-left wing of the party that they're ignoring Americans' day to day concerns, such as addressing the rising prices for goods and gasoline and combatting violent crime."

More Americans said they trust Republicans over Democrats to handle issues such as the economy and fighting crime, according to the survey, while Democrats face much of the blame for problems in those areas.

Schoen and Cooperman wrote that "there is a clear sense among the 2022 electorate that the state of the country has deteriorated since Biden became president and that he has not lived up to expectations."

Most people surveyed (68%) blamed Biden administration policies for inflation.

More than half of all polled (52%) said they blame Democrats more than Republicans for an increase in crime, and 56% of respondents said they strongly or somewhat agreed that Biden and his party are "soft on crime."

Overall, 85% of likely midterm voters polled said they were somewhat or very concerned about crime in the United States today.  

President Biden said during his State of the Union address that the answer to fighting crime "is to fund police," but the pollsters said that this is just a first step. 

"Absent a Democratic effort to approach criminal justice legislation in a bipartisan manner, the GOP will be able to weaponize the issue against Democrats in the midterms."

The pollsters noted Democrats are winning on COVID-19, but the party is "unable to connect with voters on basic 'kitchen table' issues, namely the economy and crime."

"Democrats need to embark on a broader course correction back to the center," Schoen and Cooperman recommended to their party.

The pollsters warned that "if Democrats do not embrace a strategic shift to the political center, they risk historic defeats — worse than 1994 or 2010 — in this year’s midterm elections."

Schoen, who describes himself on his website as "one of the most influential Democratic campaign consultants in modern American politics," was named "Pollster of the Year" for his work on then-President Bill Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign. He went on to work as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pollster and senior advisor for 20 years.

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