Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Party identification is 'starting to shift'

Story highlights

  • "The real energy" is in the grassroots, she told CNN
  • New poll shows majority of respondents feel Democratic Party is out of touch

Washington (CNN)Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday responded to a poll showing the majority felt the Democratic Party was out of touch by saying party identification is shifting -- and everyday people can see the US political system as a "rigged game."

The ABC News/Washington Post poll released Sunday showed 67% of respondents said the Democratic Party was out of touch, ahead of 62% who said the same for the GOP and 58% for President Donald Trump.
"I think the whole notion of parties and party identification is actually starting to shift," Warren said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
    She said "the real energy" is not in the upper echelons of the parties, but instead in the grassroots, which she said contain a sizable amount of progressive outrage.
    "It's saying, 'Look, we get it,'" Warren said. "'The game is rigged. It's rigged in favor of those at the top and rigged against the rest of us. And we want some accountability on that. We want to see a government that works for the rest of us.'"
    Focusing largely on liberal economic positions and railing against major financial institutions, Warren has come to represent a wing of the Democratic Party that also aligns with the viewpoint of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
    Sanders' move from relative obscurity as an independent to the center of Democratic politics, without changing his status as an independent, alongside Trump's historic move from outsider to President, has shaken the notion of party identification following years of people increasingly declining to identify as either Democrats or Republicans.
    In the wake of Trump's victory, Sanders has taken a larger role within party politics and called for the Democratic Party to focus on the grassroots and small donors. He engendered some controversy when he appeared in Omaha, Nebraska, last week to stump for a Democratic mayoral candidate who was opposed to abortion.
    Asked about the matter, Warren touted her bonafides in support of abortion access, but said the party could include people who didn't feel the same way.
    "Not all my colleagues agree with me," Warren said. "And not everybody who's a Democrat agrees with me. And that's OK with me."
    She also stressed liberal economic positions in favor of the working class.
    "We've got to be in the fight," Warren said. "I am in the fight on choice. I am in the fight on economics because I think this is the heart of where we are as a party."
    The ABC News/Washington Post poll surveyed 1,004 adults from April 17-20 and had a margin of error of about 3.5%.