Another leadership test for Pelosi, who's weathered many

Karen Handel

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) is calling on his fellow Democrats to look to the future and stop dwelling on past losses. But to some Democrat leaders and officials, they finally seemed to understand that the message, or lack of one, that the Party was sending to the voters was not making them pull the lever to the left.

Ironically, a Democrat came closer to an upset in Tuesday's other special election - one the national party hardly contested - in a rural SC district that Trump won by 19 points. The Carolina outcome was closer than in Georgia but drew little national attention. More than $50 million was spent on the race in Atlanta's wealthy suburbs, making it the costliest House race in history.

By a margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent, the former Georgia secretary of state beat Democrat Jon Ossoff, a political newcomer who sought to wrest control of a suburban Atlanta district that has elected Republicans to Congress since the 1970s.

Taken together, the special elections suggested that going into next year's midterms, the Democrats have not only significant advantages but also an impressive ability to squander them.

"With an increasing number of districts being drawn to deliberately favor one party over another - and with fewer voters indicating an interest in crossover voting - lots of potential candidates will look at those previous results and come to a conclusion that it's too hard to mount an election campaign in a district where their party is the minority", said John McGlennon, a longtime professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary in Virginia who has tracked partisan competition in elections. "That still moves the needle", said Ryan. The Democrats' special-election losses this week showed that what they have in free-floating anti-Trump money and angst they lack in strategy, message and candidates. But now, after a string of disappointments, those divisions have re-emerged, though Pelosi appears unlikely to face an immediate challenge.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is telling Democrats that next year could be the year they take back control of the House. "And I'm not sure that that's there yet". I just feel like we're so disconnected from what real people are thinking about.

"Usually they go after the most effective leaders because they want to diminish the opportunity that we have", Pelosi said. Debbie Dingell of MI.

Still when Democrats lose four special House elections in a row there is cause for concern.

"Our leadership owes us an explanation", said Mr. Moulton, who voted against Ms. Pelosi in the last leadership election. But if they can not transform that energy into wins, it will further demoralise a party still reeling from a White House loss it did not see coming. Among those: Adding No. 2 roles to be filled by newer members on every House standing committee and adding six regional vice chairs to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. And running simply on an anti-Trump message - like Clinton tried and failed previous year - wouldn't work for Democrats in 2018 either, no matter how mired in scandal and controversy over Russian Federation the White House may be.

"As long as Leader Pelosi is perceived as the leader of the House Democratic Caucus Republicans are going to continue to spend millions and millions of dollars in those swing districts to convince those swing voters, those independent voters, those Republican voters who might go our way, not to vote for our Democratic candidate because of Leader Pelosi", Vela said. He returned to Washington late Wednesday.

"The president's numbers are in the thirties and our base is energized", she wrote. And we need a message. Fault lines and fissures exist between the ascendant progressive wing at the grass roots and those Democrats who remain more business-friendly. "Time to move forward and win again", tweeted Joe Cunningham, a Democrat who is running against Rep. Mark Sanford in SC.

Said Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado: "Closing the gap is great, but it's not good enough, and we have to do better".

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