Pelosi Has Theory About Midterms

Speaker contradicts Manchin on his Build Back Better argument
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2022 1:10 PM CST
Pelosi Has Hope for Midterms
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls on a reporter during a news conference Wednesday on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

History shows the political party holding the White House nearly always loses congressional seats in midterm elections. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that recent history gives her hope about Democrats' prospects this year, Politico reports. "One of the reasons that, in part, the president’s party loses seats in the off years [is] because they gain so many in the on years," Pelosi said on ABC's This Week. Big Democratic losses in 2010 and 2014 could be thought of as returning some of the recently won seats. In 2020, the party dropped 12 House seats.

"We didn't gain seats when President Biden won," Pelosi said. "We worked together to win the Senate, win the House, and win the White House. It was cumulative but it wasn’t an increase." Democrats won 40 House seats in 2018, she said, 31 of them in districts that favored former President Donald Trump. When Trump was on the ballot, Pelosi said, "we lost a third of those Trump seats." In addition, she said, redistricting wasn't as damaging to Democrats' chances as feared, she said. Anyway, past results shouldn't be overemphasized. "Forget history; we’re talking about future," the speaker said. Pelosi addressed other issues on the program, including:

  • The Build Back Better Act: Pelosi took exception to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's comment that the party's legislation is inflationary; Manchin's opposition has pretty much ended the bill's chances. "It's not right to say that what we're doing is contributing to inflation because it is exactly the opposite," Pelosi said, per the Hill. Calling the measure a "deficit-reduction bill," she referred the statement by 17 Nobel laureates calling it non-inflationary.
  • The Russia-Ukraine standoff: "We think that an assault on Ukraine is an assault on democracy," Pelosi said, per Axios. If he weren't facing sanctions by the US and allies, Putin would be a lock to invade Ukraine, she said. The Russian president "should pay very close attention to" the unity among the nations threatening sanctions, Pelosi said.
  • Her reelection: Pelosi has said she's seeking reelection to the House, but she wouldn't say Sunday whether she'll run for speaker again. Democrats have a five-seat majority in the House, and Pelosi said keeping House control is the priority, per the Hill. "My purpose right now is just to win that election," she said.
(More Nancy Pelosi stories.)

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