"The Republicans will also have to begin to deal on a very visible and vocal and powerful way with issues that people care about and talk about around the kitchen table," Rove said on "Fox News Sunday." "Like, what about the cost of my healthcare, what about -- how can my kid go to college, what do we do to create more jobs and energy in America?"
Rove was President George W. Bush's top political adviser until he resigned his White House position in August.
Also on Fox, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said he thinks "it's pretty clear" Americans prefer the Democrats' positions on domestic policy, national security and foreign policy issues.
"You see Republicans retiring from Congress in droves," said Van Hollen, who heads the Democratic congressional campaign. "We're not just consolidating our gains. We've put more than 40 Republican seats in play."
Rove said Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- widely regarded as their parties' front-running presidential hopefuls -- "are in trouble." Van Hollen called the presidential nomination campaign "a very fluid" situation.