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Van Jones Has Some Harsh Truths to Share About How the Democratic Party Has 'Overpromised, Undelivered So Far'

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Commentator Van Jones was trending over Twitter on Friday when it came to his appearance on CNN's "New Day," during which he candidly pointed out the Democratic Party has "overpromised, underdelivered so far." 

The main issue, as Jones revealed, was an emphasis on both "a disappointment factor plus inflation." On inflation, Jones pointed out how the issue affects Republicans and non-Republicans alike. 

As Madeline highlighted earlier this week, "Concerns Over Inflation Fuel Low Confidence in America’s Economy," citing a Gallup poll from Wednesday. "Inflation continues to be at a level of concern not seen since 1984," she wrote. "The poll findings also showed that the percentage of American adults who cite economic concerns as the country’s most pressing issue has ticked up to 39 percent," she also mentioned. 

Further, as Spencer and I covered earlier this month, a CBS News/YouGov poll shows that the American people are not happy with how Biden is handling economic concerns. 

When it comes to Biden's response on lowering gas prices, 65 percent felt he "could do more." And on inflation, just 31 percent approve of the president's handling of that issue. 

Throughout his time on the show, Jones also spoke of "disappointment" among Black voters. Like other demographics that tend to vote Democratic, Biden has lost support among this voting group. Jones offered that Black voters feel this way because they helped elect Biden and Democrats in 2020, but have not seen desirable results on issues such as voting legislation and police reform. 

"Well, I think that there's a disappointment factor that's set in. I think a lot of Black voters feel like the Black community gave the most during the election -- the historic election of 2020 -- and have gotten the least. If you look at voting rights -- so far, nothing. You look at some of the student loan stuff -- very little," Jones provided in his detailed response earlier in his segment.

"So what was motivating African American voters left, right, and otherwise, were that somebody was going to come to our rescue. The day-to-day reality for Black folks hasn't improved. In fact, because of inflation and other things, it's gotten worse. And so, you're starting to see that disappointment factor set in."

Later in the segment, Jones also offered "I think that when you have a community that feels that it rescued the Democratic Party and maybe rescued American democracy and can't get police reform done after George Floyd, that there's something wrong and that disappointment factor is starting to show up."

Host John Berman went on to ask "Did the Democrats overpromise," to which Jones responded they have "overpromised, undelivered, so far." He went on to say that "and so, when you overpromise so much in the beginning of the year and you're underdelivering at the end of the year -- and don't forget Build Back Better, et cetera -- you suddenly wind up with a disappointment factor, plus inflation."

The RNC  was quick to promote Jones' remarks, as it applied to Berman asking if "it will change the voting patterns?"

Jones offered I think that it may well. Also, don't forget you have had a concerted effort on the part of conservatives to recast the Republican Party as the party of the multiracial working class."

Republicans have indeed made such "a concerted effort." As I reported at the time, the RNC last August re-opened its first Black American Community Center. And, at the state level, the Republican State Leadership Committee last October announced its "Right Leaders Network" to elect more female and minority candidates. 

CNN's Harry Enten had also addressed the issue the Democratic Party faces when it comes to declining support from Black voters, on-air earlier in the show, and in an analysis piece for CNN

Enten emphasized there has been "a huge, huge drop among Black voters," by 15 points. And, when it comes to Black conservative voters, if they continue to go towards the Republican Party, "Black voters may not be as Democratic as they once were."

In his Wednesday piece, Enten highlighted several key points, to illustrate the gravity of the situation when it comes to such a drop:

Black voters form the core of the Democratic Party base. They cast ballots for Democrats in greater proportions than pretty much any other demographic group. Without the massive backing of Black voters, the last three Democratic nominees (Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) would not have made it to the general election. 

Yet, recent polling suggests the advantage Democrats have had with Black voters may be slipping, at least a little bit. This follows the 2020 election in which Biden won Black voters by less than 80 points -- the weakest margin for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1996 (if your baseline is the network exit polls). 


Take a look at an average of polls -- from CNN, Fox, Quinnipiac and Pew -- over the last few months. Democrats have a 62-point lead among Black voters, 73% to 11%. That may seem large, but it's small from a historical standpoint. 

The 2020 network exit polls had Democrats winning the national House vote among Black voters by 75 points (87% to 12%). The data firm Catalist calculated that Democrats won by 79 points (89% to 10%). Averaged together, Black voters went Democratic by a 77-point margin in the 2020 House vote. 

What current polls indicate is a 15-point decline from that margin among Black voters. For comparison, among Hispanic voters, Democrats are down 5 points from their 2020 House margin. 

You'd have to go all the way back to 1990 to find any year, at least according to the exit polls, in which Democrats won the national House vote among Black voters by as little as their lead in the current polls.  

Enten closed his piece with a key point, in that that elections will continue to get easier for the GOP and the margin of victories they'll need. "If we continue to see movement among Black conservatives like we did in 2020, life would get easier for the GOP. Republicans aren't going to need as wide victory margins among other groups to win elections," he wrote. 

The title of Enten's piece, "It's not just Latinos and younger voters. Democrats are slipping among Black voters too," highlights how Biden has slipped among other demographics that are considered to be a key part of their voting base. 


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