Angry Dems turn against leaders after House election losses

Malcolm Fuller
June 23, 2017

I don't understand why more attention hasn't been focused on his unbelievable showing. They hyped a race that they were hoping would be a referendum on President Trump and more money was spent on it - more than $50 million with outside groups factored in - than for any congressional race in history.

BENNETT: Like Ryan, Congressman Seth Moulton of MA is also venting about the loss.

"#Ossof Race better be a wake up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working".

"When we saw the first numbers start to come in from Fulton County, on the early vote numbers, where we had really flipped that around to actually be in the lead, we knew that we were trending in the right direction", said Handel. "It's time for some change". "If elected, I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker". I think our leadership owes us an explanation for what's going on in these four elections but also a plan moving forward.

But Georgia 6 was the most moderate by far.

"I think you'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top", Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, told Politico.

And GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of IL noted: "There are local reasons (why Ossoff lost). But she certainly is one of the reasons".

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"One important lesson is that when they go low, going high doesn't f**king work", Tanden said.

If energized Democrats had claimed either of those long-held GOP seats, they could have argued that even traditionally red seats are in play in 2018 and Republicans who back Trump's agenda do so at their own peril. "Pelosi is the human embodiment of that". If Democrats fall short next year, she may join the growing list of California's older Democratic leaders put out to pasture.

In the Ossoff race, even though the 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer ended up running a more centrist and not Trump-centric campaign, Republicans were able to zero in on the more than $23 million in donations Ossoff raised, largely from liberal enclaves like California and NY, and make an easy connection to Pelosi. She's a favorite foil of Republicans, and ads like these blanketed the Atlanta media market in the lead-up to Tuesday's election.

Pelosi allies have pushed back at the blame game, and pointed to the improvement Democrats had in other special elections in Kansas, Montana and SC as evidence that their efforts to harness the resistance against Trump was working.

In 2016, Tom Price won the 6th District by almost 24 points. In the end, the Republican - and in the eyes of many, Trump - won handily.

House Democratic leaders are taking some comfort in coming in a close second for a seat that's always been firmly in GOP hands. And then she continued: "At some point we have to be willing to say that yes, lots of conservative voters are hateful and willing to embrace bigots".

BILL PASCRELL: They demonized Nancy in 2010. Porter said Wednesday that he expects Democrats to field "strong candidates" for every statewide down ballot office - something the party hasn't managed in recent years. Pelosi's enduring role as a Republican punching bag revived debate over whether her leadership is an electoral drag on the party, or if she is simply a convenient (female) symbol for attacks on liberalism that the GOP would level with or without her.

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