number of Democratic candidates on the campaign trail hoping to be
elected to the House of Representatives in this November's midterm
elections who openly oppose Nancy Pelosi's desire to wield the
speaker's gavel once again has multiplied to at least 20.
turns out that a trend may have caught fire following Conor
Lamb's razor-thin in a special election in Pennsylvania this March,
and the nerves of the minority leader's allies are rattled,
according to a
new report from Politico.
begs the question: Could the California Democrat now face the
toughest test of her grip on power since becoming a
household name some 15 years ago?
Democrats do win back control of the People's House on Election Day, the
potentially narrow margin would give Pelosi almost no room
for mistake as she lobbies for the 218 votes needed to win a
floor vote, Politico reports. And Pelosi could face resistance from
a fresh crop of Democrats, who have said on record they would
oppose her as they call for new leadership.
Rose, who is running for a House seat in New York state, is one of
the party hopefuls who has spoken out against Pelosi.
the Democratic Party is going to earn back the trust of the American
people, then we need to show them that we are serious about changing our
politics – and that means we need a change in leadership," he said
in a statement to Politico.
contrast, Arkansas' Clarke Tucker is blasting his opposition across
the airwaves: “I’ve said from Day One that I won’t vote for Nancy
told the Boston Globe in May that she has her sights set on a return
to the speakership.
will win. I will run for speaker," she said. "I feel confident about
Pelosi’s allies acknowledge that the two-vote system employed
by the Democratic caucus works in the minority leader's favor. Politico
Democrats win the House, she would first need to win a secret ballot
vote within the Democratic Caucus, but only by a simple majority – a
much easier hurdle than securing 218 votes on the House floor.
supporters predict she would easily win the caucus vote, especially if
no one credible steps forward to challenge her, paving the way for
most Democrats to publicly support her in a floor vote. (All
Republicans undoubtedly would oppose her, so Pelosi would need the
overwhelming majority of Democrats to put her over the top.)
some may not be quick to forget the
events of November 2016, when nearly
one-third of Pelosi's Democratic colleagues in the
House opposed her campaign to remain leader.
is also no secret that Pelosi has long been vilified by
Republicans – you can look all the way back to
her first appointment to her party's leadership ranks.
And it seems things have not changed much since 2003, according to
is one of the biggest — if not the biggest — drag on Democrats running
for the House, according to some Democratic pollsters. Republicans
have happily exploited that weakness, raining down Pelosi-themed TV
ads on special election candidates in Georgia, Montana and
very few exceptions, the biggest hurdle, the biggest vulnerability for
Democratic candidates is Nancy Pelosi, and the strongest card the
Republicans can play is attaching a candidate to Pelosi,” said a
Democratic pollster, who works with some House candidates who have
disavowed Pelosi. The pollster, who was granted anonymity to discuss
internal strategy, added: “Most of this is about mitigating and
diluting the effectiveness of that attack.”
fact, in the race for control of the House, more than one-third
of Republican commercials have taken aim at Pelosi. This
2018 figure is a sharp increase from 13 percent in the 2014
midterm cycle, according
to USA Today.
amount of vitriol is eerily similar to another well-known politician,
former Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton. And the root of
the origins may be one in the same.
April, an article from The New Republic took a closer look at
the Republican Party's "desperate obsession" with Pelosi:
demonization of Pelosi, who has reached the highest office of any
female politician in American history, is partly fueled by—and an
appeal to—sexism. “I think they need to get a new game
book,” Representative Joseph Crowley, chairman of the House
Democratic Caucus, said last month of Republicans. “The
attempts to use Nancy Pelosi, it’s failing them at this point. And I
think, quite frankly, it’s sexist.”
Republicans’ animosity toward Pelosi is also certainly driven by fear:
As both the minority leader (from 2003-2007 and 2011-present) and
House speaker (from 2007-2011), she has been an accomplished and
indomitable captain of House Democrats.
same month, The
Atlantic also tried to solve the “Pelosi problem." Peter
addition to being a masterful legislative tactician, the 77-year-old
Pelosi is, in Politico's words, “the most successful non-presidential
political fundraiser in U.S. history” . . . Another coup attempt
erupted last summer. Why so much discontent with a woman who has
proved so good at her job? Maybe because many Democrats think Pelosi’s
unpopularity undermines their chances of winning back the House. Why
is she so unpopular? Because powerful women politicians usually are.
Therein lies the tragedy. Nancy Pelosi does her job about as well as
anyone could. But because she’s a woman, she may not be doing it well
for now, all eyes will be on Pelosi's first hurdle to victory – helping
Democrats squeak out that narrow victory in November. FiveThirtyEight's
most-recent estimate of the
race for Congress shows that Democrats have a slight
national average over Republicans – 46.9 to 40.7 percent.