House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 17. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
By Richard Moorhead March 29, 2022 at 1:22pm
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is predicting that the Democratic Party will gain seats rather than lose them in the November midterm elections.
The California Democrat made the bold declaration on Monday.
“I don’t have any intention of the Democrats losing the Congress in November,” Pelosi said during an interview with Time magazine for Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
“The so-called conventional wisdom — well, there’s nothing conventional anymore,” she said, “because of the way people communicate, social media, and how they receive their information, how they’re called to action, how they’re called to meetings and the rest is quite different.
“So any assumptions, past assumptions about elections are obsolete. People say, ‘Well, history shows’ … We’re talking about the future.”
“We have a vision of victory. We have a plan to get it done. We’re going to own the ground,” the speaker said.
Then came a surprising forecast.
“If anything,” Pelosi said, “we’ll pick up seats rather than lose 10 to 15, which conventional wisdom said that we would.
Is Pelosi right that the Democrats will gain seats in the November midterms?
“There’s nothing conventional anymore, and it certainly ain’t wisdom.”
It’s very rare in American history for a party that controls the House, the Senate and the White House to gain seats in Congress in an election.
Only a handful of historical exceptions, such as the 2002 midterms, entailed the president’s party gaining seats. That election was colored by the unprecedented nature of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Pelosi’s prediction is even more extraordinary in light of polling that indicates Democrats are in line for a walloping in November that could cost them as many as 50 or 60 seats.
Even the Democrats’ internal polling shows they stand to lose dozens of seats in the election, a far cry from the speaker’s forecast of her party gaining seats.
Democrats have only a razor-thin majority with 222 seats in the House to the GOP’s 211.
Losing six seats would be enough for Democrats to relinquish control to Republicans.
Even though the 82-year-old Pelosi is running for re-election, an embarrassing defeat for her party could spell the end of her leadership in the House.
She has endured at the helm of her party since 2003, ignoring suggestions that she should retire and allow new leadership to come forth.
With Pelosi as speaker, the Democrats have largely focused on the partisan committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion since Biden’s inauguration.
The tireless work of the Select Committee to Investigate January 6th continues to be essential to understanding the deadly insurrection, holding those responsible to account and preventing a future assault on our democracy.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 28, 2022
Biden’s priorities have been stymied in great part by moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, frustrating progressives who expected to pass broad legislation despite Democrats’ thin majorities in both chambers of Congress.