Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Gergen: Special election victories show Trump could beat Dems in 2020


In fact, in all four special elections - including a surprisingly close race in SC also on Tuesday - Democrats outperformed Hillary Clinton in 2016, and they really only tried hard in one of them (Georgia).

I am disappointed by the outcome of the Georgia election but definitely not demoralized.

Tuesday was a triumphant night for Republicans, winning 4 of 5 special elections, including the most expensive House race in US history.

Democrats had hoped a victory in Georgia would imperil the Republican agenda by putting members on edge about paying for risky legislation with their seats.

In a press conference Thursday, Pelosi said she's proud of the unity within her party and the leverage it has given her in various negotiations. That includes 24 seats Republicans won in November that Hillary Clinton also won.

Rep. Tim Ryan, who unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for minority leader a year ago, told Business Insider he did not know how Democrats could take the House in 2018 if the GOP was successfully able to convince independents and Republicans that a vote for a Democratic candidate is essentially a vote for Pelosi's leadership. Voters in Virginia may be ready for a little hope and change.

With President Trump suffering low approval ratings, many called this special election a referendum on the Commander in Chief. But now, after a string of disappointments, those divisions have re-emerged, though Pelosi appears unlikely to face an immediate challenge.

Ossoff became a vessel for anti-Trump rage for liberals, raising nearly $24 million combined for the all-party election, but did not present an economic message that other lawmakers within the party have said the party needs in the Trump era. "And I'm not sure that that's there yet".

"This is not anything personal between me and Nancy Pelosi". We need to learn from that.

"They took a special election and blew it out of proportion", said David Schultz, a political science professor at Hamline University.

Just hours before the news conference, moderate Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of NY reiterated her call that it was time for Pelosi to step aside.

"Unfortunately a loss for us, but not good news for them", Pelosi told the rank-and-file in a closed door meeting Wednesday morning, according to Democrats present. "We can't just run against Trump".

A handful of Democrats in the House have suggested that Pelosi vacate the top post, as Republicans expertly tied Ossoff to the California Democrat, which likely helped him lose the race.

"The president's numbers are in the thirties and our base is energized", she wrote.

Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey said, "A loss is a loss is a loss, and there's no excuses". "A loss is a loss is a loss and there's no excuses". Time to move on and govern it!

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