'Five-alarm fire': Top political scientist issues dire warning after big GOP win

'Five-alarm fire': Top political scientist issues dire warning after big GOP win

Veteran political scientist Larry Sabato is warning Democrats to take Glenn Youngkin's win in the Virginia gubernatorial race seriously.

Sabato, the founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia says national Democrats need to learn the lessons from Tuesday night's loss.

"If this wasn't a five-alarm fore for Democrats nothing will be," he says.

Sabato blames President Joe Biden's diminished approval rating and "the inaction of the House and Senate Democrats on the two big proposals that President Biden has on the table," in part for Democrat Terry McAuliffe's loss.

"Democrats weren't excited and I saw that and going through all the votes," he added, saying "the Republican base was completely activated."

"The Republican turnouts were unbelievable, particularly in rural counties. It wasn't just the absolute number. A lot of them are small counties without a lot of votes, but when you add them together, and the Republican nominees were getting, listen to this 85% of the vote 85% That doesn't happen very often."

CNN's host trotted out Republican talking points, but Sabato clarified, noting that Democrats ignored those GOP claims.

Sabato called McAuliffe's "gaffe" that parents shouldn't have control over what their children learn in schools a "fundamental error," noting that the campaign "never really engaged on the parental influence in the schools issue. They never really engaged with the Republican claims about critical race theory, which isn't taught in Virginia, of course, but you have to engage you have to present your side of the argument. You can't just walk away from it and try to focus on, say, Donald Trump. And that's a that's a lesson for Democrats going forward and then 2020 to look at what the other side is saying. And refute it if you can."

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