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Can A “young” Topple Triumph? Van Jones Says That Democrats Are Betting On That.

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Political commentator and CNN analyst Van Jones, who coined the word “whitelash” on the night of the 2016 presidential election, on Saturday predicted that a “youthquake” could topple President Donald Trump and hand Democrats the election.

Speaking on CNN, Jones explained to host Anderson Cooper that there were “two different forces” at play that will determine the outcome of the upcoming election. The first is the possibility of a growing Trump wave. Supporters of Make America Great Again who don’t usually vote but could be motivated by the high early voting turnout to cast a ballot on November 3.

“People watching this stuff at home and seeing all these African Americans and liberals standing alongside… and saying ‘I gotta go vote. I’m worried now as a Republican and I’m gonna go vote,'” he said.

The second force is what Jones called a “youthquake”—a wave of young Americans who are also not usually likely voters but have been politicized by the Black Lives Matter movement, climate change and gun control. According to Jones, the youthquake would vote to elect the candidate running against Trump and could result in a Democratic win. “They might be moving in a way that you can’t track,” the analyst said. “We don’t know what’s going on out there. It could come down to Tuesday and we’ll see.”

President Donald Trump acknowledges supporters after a rally on October 31, 2020 in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela/Getty

During the panel discussion, Jones admitted that he was “freaked out” by a recent Des Moines Register poll that showed Trump leading Biden by 7 points in Iowa, a state that both candidates were tied in last month. “Terrified, freaked out, scared,” he said. “I hope it’s wrong.”

Jones served as a special adviser for Green Jobs under former Democratic President Barack Obama.

In 2016, Jones called Trump’s election victory a “whitelash” when he articulated Democrats’ concerns over the prospect of four years under the Republican president.

“You tell your kids don’t be a bully, you tell your kids don’t be a bigot… and then you have this outcome,” the CNN analyst said at the time. “You have people putting children to bed tonight and they are afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of ‘How do I explain this to my children?'”

“This was a whitelash against a changing country,” Jones added. “It was whitelash against a black president in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes.”

With three days until the election, Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden had been leading Trump in nearly all national polls—by double digits in some. But polling doesn’t guarantee victory. Trump trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in most polls throughout the entire 2016 campaign, but he still won the electoral college and presidency.

Newsweek reached out to Jones for further comment.

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