House Democrats are re-electing their entire leadership, despite the most embarrassing showing by their party in House races since at least 2010.
In short, they took a “shell-ack-in.”
With just a few races uncalled (and Republicans leading in 4 of 5 contests), Democrats have lost nine seats. What makes those losses doubly painful was explained by Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report:
It's been almost two weeks since Election Day, and Democrats still haven't won a *single one* of the 27 House races in @CookPolitical's Toss Up column.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 16, 2020
The Iowa race for District 2 features Republican Marianette Meeks-Miller against Democrat Rita Hart. With nearly 400,000 votes cast, Miller-Meeks leads by just 47 votes in this Democratic district.
Two other close races in California may give Republicans a couple more pickups, and with the slow-as-molasses ballot-counting in New York, it appears that at least one Republican may prevail there.
The potential to pick up 12 seats in a year where a Republican incumbent president lost is just about unheard of.
With just a handful of races still uncalled at this point, Republicans have gained nine seats — having won 12 Democratic-held districts and lost just three of their own. And those numbers don’t even tell the full story, given that two of the three seats Republicans lost were the direct result of a redrawing of North Carolina’s congressional districts that reworked the map in ways that were decidedly unfavorable to the GOP. Subtract those two seats, which neither party spent any money in or seriously contested, and you are down to a single competitive seat that went from red to blue: The suburban Atlanta 7th District.
Democrats thought they had a winning issue nationwide running on healthcare and “fixing” Obamacare. But many Americans do not trust the Democrats to hand their healthcare over to the government with Medicare for All. And the Democrats’ support for the “science” in managing the pandemic also put people off.
What should have been a banner year for Democrats turned into a nightmare.
And that nightmare should end up right at the feet of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Instead, she defiantly claims that the GOP “won the battle but we won the war.”
Another “victory” like this one and Pelosi will find herself in the minority.
Which seems just fine with her Democratic colleagues! Pelosi, as well as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Maryland) and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (South Carolina), are all expected to be reelected to their current leadership jobs this week by the full Democratic caucus.
But reelected or not, there’s simply no spinning what happened to House Democrats on November 3. It was a bad-bordering-on-disastrous election, particularly when you consider that their majority will be quite narrow heading into Biden’s first midterm election, which, if history holds, is a bad one for the incumbent’s party.
Republicans will be in a much more powerful position in January. They are poised to influence the Democratic agenda in ways that they couldn’t have when Pelosi had a 35-seats cushion to pass legislation. With some less radical Democrats, they might even be able to block legislation like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
Democrats in the House have nothing to celebrate and should be very nervous about going into the 2022 off-year elections in such a weak position.