Democrats aren’t ready to rally around a new figure to lead their party in the House of Representatives, despite recent soul searching that has led some to believe that current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi may be hurting the party’s electoral prospects.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday showed that although a plurality of voters believe Pelosi should step aside as House minority leader, among Democratic voters, only 27% want new leadership, compared to 41% who want her to stay, and 31% who have no opinion.
As Democrats have lost a series of special House elections in red districts, some Democrats have worried that their opportunity to capitalise on President Donald Trump’s historic unpopularity could be squandered by Republicans’ successful ability to link any Democratic candidate with Pelosi.
Rep. Tim Ryan, who unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for minority leader last year, told Business Insider earlier this month that he did not know how Democrats could win in the 2018 midterm elections if Republicans were able to convince sceptical independent and Republican-leaning voters that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for Pelosi’s agenda.
“I don’t know if there is a solution in the short term,” Ryan said. “It’s clear that tactic still works, still packs a punch, and it’s part of a broader toxicity of being part of the Democratic brand regardless of where you are.”
Other Democrats and some commentators have defended the minority leader, noting her successful ability to pass major legislation through the House — as speaker, she was the highest-ranking female government official in American history during a time of consequential legislative action.
“They have spent over $US100 million dollars demonizing me,” Pelosi said during a press conference last week.
“I believe one of the reasons they did it is I’m an effective leader. We passed the Affordable Care Act, we passed Dodd-Frank,” she added.
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