Speaker Nancy Pelosi brashly predicted Democrats will defy history and keep control of the House in the midterm congressional elections.
The powerful Democratic lawmaker said the party’s leadership has long believed that it would win seats, even though the party of the sitting president nearly always loses ground in the midterms.
“We’re ready,” she told Punchbowl News. “And understand this: We believed we were going to win from Jan. 6 on — well, even November of last year on.”
Pelosi said Democratic House candidates are working harder than ever to keep the Speaker’s gavel in her hands for another two years.
“So we’re ready. Mobilizing on the ground … messaging, raising the money,” she said. “But the biggest factor of all is not only do we believe, the candidates believe. Terrific people had put themselves out there believing they could win in those districts.”
Pelosi has been House Democratic leader for 15 years, leading the caucus through sweeping victories and crushing defeats like the 2010 midterms wipeout that came just two years after President Barack Obama’s historic victory.
The 2022 race was supposed to be a similar story, with the GOP eyeing a red wave driven by dissatisfaction with President Biden’s handling of the economy and especially inflation.
But Pelosi said Republicans have been their own worst enemies by allowing former President Donald Trump to remain their de facto leader despite his efforts to overturn his 2020 loss. Now Trump is one of the key issues on voters’ minds, turning the vote into a choice instead of a referendum on Biden.
She also pointed to the conservative Supreme Court’s unpopular decision to roll back abortion rights, which has lit a fire under angry women and progressives.
Democrats have reeled off a string of wins in bellwether congressional special elections since the abortion ruling and have retaken the lead in the so-called generic ballot of voter party preference.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) boasted that there is little doubt Republicans are sweating as mail-in ballots arrive in voters’ mailboxes and election day nears.
“You’re either on offense or defense in politics, and we’re clearly on offense,” said Maloney, who leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The Republicans know it. They’ve been cocky and overextended. They’re way out of position on [abortion], and the voters know it.”
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