House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her fellow congressional Democrats on Thursday their party won “the war” on Election Day, despite Republicans flipping at least 12 seats and Democrats’ inability to gain Senate control.
Many House Democrats are angry about losing at least 10 seats in the election. Dems had been expected to add seats to their majority and a number of House races are unresolved.
Pelosi referred to Biden as “President-elect Biden,” saying he “has a strong mandate to lead, and will have a strong Democratic House with him.”
“His election is historic, propelled by the biggest vote ever in the history of our country, 73.8 million, and counting, Americans – the most votes ever received by any presidential ticket in history,” said Pelosi.
While Democrats’ expectations of a “blue wave” came crashing back to earth with Trump wins in key states of Florida, Texas, and Ohio, along with losses that shrunk their House majority, Pelosi sought to frame the results in a bigger picture.
“This has been a life-or-death fight for the fate of our democracy,” said Pelosi. “We did not win every battle in the House, but we won the war.”
Speaker Pelosi: "We did not win every battle in the House but we did win the war." pic.twitter.com/jDB8v7BWCA
— The Hill (@thehill) November 6, 2020
That’s a curious statement given the facts of the matter.
As for a “strong Democratic House,” ask the other members of the Democratic caucus, who apparently shouted and cried during a post-mortem conference call in which Pelosi and her top lieutenants tried to wrangle with a disappointing result on Election Day.
For instance, take Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a more centrist Virginia Democrat who’s claimed victory despite the fact her race hasn’t been officially called as of Saturday morning. According to The Washington Post, she reacted “heatedly” to the party’s messaging.
“We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. . . . We lost good members because of that,” she added. “If we are classifying Tuesday as a success . . . we will get f—ing torn apart in 2022.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, on the left of the party, angrily told those upset with the party’s underwhelming performance and problematic messaging that “it sounds like you are saying stop pushing for what black folks want.”
And then, according to Politico, you had the lachrymose Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida, who was moved to tears by Democrats who were “tweet[ing]” barbs at one another.
In short, does this sound strong to you?
In the Senate, meanwhile, the Democrats have managed a net gain of one seat when they were predicted to pick up several more.
Their hopes now rest upon winning two Georgia runoffs, something that would be difficult even without an energized Republican base.
This, again, wasn’t the predicted outcome, particularly with vulnerable GOP incumbents like Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina all appearing to have held on to their seats.