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There was a significant amount of infighting and finger-pointing going on among Democrats in the House of Representatives Wednesday as the majority suffered a stunning defeat all across the country on Election Day, Politico reported.
Only days before, the outlet noted, top Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) mused about the party’s chances to expand their majority in the chamber by up to a dozen seats. Polls in races around the nation showed Democrats up overall and making plays in Republican strongholds like Texas.
But as votes began to pour in Tuesday, Democratic hopes and dreams were quickly dashed. TheBlaze’s Chris Pandolfo noted that “Republicans won upset victories over several Democratic incumbents” and are poised to “gain as much as 10 seats in a year the media raised the possibility they’d lose as many as 15 or more.”
Consequently, the mood among Democrats around Capitol Hill was much less chipper and several members began pointing fingers. Here’s more from Politico:
Even with tens of thousands of ballots still to be counted, shell-shocked Democratic lawmakers, strategists and aides privately began trying to pin the blame: The unreliable polls. The GOP’s law-and-order message amid a summer of unrest. The “hidden Trump voters.” The impeachment hangover. The lack of a coronavirus stimulus deal.
Some corners of the party were also beginning to question the message and tactics at the top, with several Democrats predicting — and some even demanding — a significant overhaul within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, including possibly even ousting chairwoman Cheri Bustos, whose Illinois race has yet to be called.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told reporters, “There’s still a lot of uncertainty. I would say the high expectations that a number of pollsters and pundits created obviously have not been met. We’ll have a Democratic majority in the House, and it remains to be seen how big that will be.”
But some lawmakers were far less subtle: “It’s a dumpster fire,” said one Democrat, who remained anonymous.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, a senior Blue Dog Democrat in South Texas pointed to his party’s failures in rural areas outside big cities.
“If we don’t change the strategy, it’s going to be the same in 2022,” he predicted.
There is reportedly speculation that Pelosi’s leadership is in question ahead of Congress’ return after the election. A poor performance during the 2020 general election might finally spark a change at the top for Democrats.