“I think there are still many uncertainties. I would say that the high expectations that some of the polls and experts create have clearly not been met, ”Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) Said in an interview today. Wednesday. “We’ll have a Democratic majority in the House and still have to see how big that will be.”
Some Democrats were more blunt: “It’s a fire,” said an anonymous lawmaker.
For now, many Democrats say they are like much of the United States – glued to their phones and TVs as they wait to see final vote results in the three key Midwestern states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where the presidential term will be decided. Many important counties, including those that will determine the fate of incumbents in suburbs of Pennsylvania, are expected to count the mailed ballots over several days.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) Said: “I think it will be tight but I think Joe Biden will win over Michigan,”; who has repeatedly set the alarm bells for Democrats since Trump to overthrow Hillary Clinton there four years ago.
Right here in Michigan, two Democrats’ freshmen are still fighting against GOP challengers in unnamed races – Representatives Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens.
The full extent of the consequences only began to become apparent on Wednesday morning, with lawmakers and aides expecting a much more difficult internal leadership process, with Pelosi himself facing the post. The math gets more complicated when she tries to seal another term as a speaker.
None of the about a dozen Democrats or aides to the Democrats interviewed said Pelosi should step down or face a challenger. But some of them have privately speculated that what was expected just a few days ago would be a tougher road to the right of speakers as Democrats lose seats in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers – overjoyed after they suddenly promoted – began strengthening their leadership team, including House GOP campaign chairman Tom Emmer, who arrested Early calling on Wednesday morning to lock in favor to serve another term.
Democrats were engaged in quickly pointing out who would be held accountable for Tuesday’s shameful performance, with private outrage likely to spread to the public at large next day when the entire House is known. Some Centralist Democrats blame their more progressive peers, saying moderates in Trump-leaning counties cannot escape their “socialist” shadow. .
Others argued that the DCCC was overly optimistic about the number of seats the party would in fact never choose – citing races like the District 2 of Arkansas – while missing out on the catastrophe happening in South Florida, where incumbent Shalala and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell were ousted. Some Democrats said the party’s activity did not focus on an active, cohesive message, but not simply opposing Trump.
So far, House Democrats have only two seats – and they’re guaranteed pickups created by redistribution on court order in North Carolina. They did not topple a single GOP incumbent or have won an open seat election as of Wednesday morning. Instead, they suffered a series of serious losses.
Some falls have been expected: MPs Collin Peterson in Minnesota, Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico and Kendra Horn in Oklahoma all face tough elections in counties won by Trump. But others shocked Democrats. The DCCC never bothered to place Shalala in their frontline program for incumbents at risk of extinction. And the secret ballot from both parties had Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham with a major lead in his South Carolina county, but he fell to GOP Representative Nancy Mace.
Texas is a huge disappointment for Democrats, who have invested millions in their 10-seat goal and have even opened a satellite DCCC office in Austin. They failed to topple the giant chair in West Texas, retired by Rep. Will Hurd – a district that Hillary Clinton assumed in 2016.
Republicans held a rapidly diversifying seat in the Houston suburbs with the victory of Troy Nehls, and they took the lead in another in the Fort Worth-Dallas area. Democrats felt confident in overturning all three.
So far Democrats have lost six incumbents. And more is likely to come. Many of their other members follow challengers in races too close to call.
Democrats acknowledged there were some early warning signs in the country of Trump, but said it still had a significant failure to predict the level of GOP participation that left them blind in 2016. In Bustos’ re-election war, Democrats Illinois repeatedly refused financial assistance from her colleagues until the final three weeks before the race, according to some Democrats sources.
Many Democrats said they feared a controversial lame-duck Congress, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell likely to be discouraged as his party appeared on the road to keep the Senate in narrowly. Many argue that McConnell – whose party can hold key seats in Iowa, Kansas, and Montana – is even less likely to join Democrats on a massive stimulus package, which is still much needed. to many US industries and families amid pandemic.
Democrats hope Biden will win the presidency as the vote count continues Wednesday in the Midwest. But many say they are still in awe of the string of losses in the House and Senate.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, a senior Blue Dog in southern Texas, said some of his party underestimated Trump’s strength, especially in farm-heavy counties outside of the metropolitan center, where Democrats have long struggled to develop a message.
“This is what I have said over and over again. Urban areas are important, but you still have to look at rural areas, ”says Cuellar. “If we don’t change our strategy, it will be the same by 2022.”
Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.