Democrats in America's heartland are feeling abandoned by the liberal wing of the party, according to a new report from a PAC affiliated with Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.).
"While the party had a successful night in off-year elections on Nov. 7, 2017, and in the Dec. 12, 2017, special election in Alabama for U.S. Senate, Democrats will not return to majorities in Washington or the states without earning stronger support from the rural, working-class voters who propelled Donald Trump to victory in 2016," the report says. "Moreover, the party must listen to Heartland voters and embrace the opportunity to elevate their very real concerns in Washington."
On "America's Newsroom," Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe said there's no doubt that Democrats have lost touch with heartland and rural voters.
She pointed out that President Donald Trump won all but 63 of the 737 counties in the Midwest in the 2016 election, and he had the support of 60 percent of small-town, rural voters.
"That's a huge problem for Democrats, and the reason why they're facing that problem is they're focused on identity politics," Boothe said.
She explained that Democrats have pushed issues like transgender bathrooms, while voters in the heartland want to hear about jobs and how the economy can benefit them.
Fox News contributor Jessica Tarlov agreed that economic messaging will be key in 2018 and 2020, as it is in all elections, but she cautioned against Democrats abandoning the "special interests" that are important to the more progressive wing of the party.
"We certainly don't want to be alienating voters who are more progressive just to cater to people in the middle of the country who may be more conservative," she said.
Boothe noted that Democrats are also focused on resisting Trump, which doesn't benefit rural, working class voters.
"All it is is resisting a president that they voted for, policies that they supported that President Trump campaigned on," she pointed out. "Focusing on that resistance isn't going to help Democrats in those areas."
Watch more above.