Democratic Candidates Revolt Against Pelosi

HAMPTON, N.H. – Anyone looking for signs that Nancy Pelosi has lost clout within the Democratic ranks this cycle need only catch a glimpse of last week’s candidate forum in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

When 10 Democratic candidates were asked if they’d support the House minority leader for speaker if elected and the Democrats regain the chamber’s majority, only one raised his hand. Their hesitation speaks to a growing uneasiness among this year’s midterm candidates – especially in swing districts – with the veteran California Democrat’s grip on power.

In New Hampshire, the candidates’ response on the Pelosi question was telling given the nature of the electorate. The seat in play, currently held by retiring Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, represents a swing district in a swing state.

Perceived Pelosi ties could hurt the Democrats’ bid to hold the seat in the fall. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Conor Lamb surely made similar calculations earlier this year when he vowed not to support Pelosi for speaker – and went on to win a special election in a deep-red district that President Trump carried in 2016 by 20 percentage points.