House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) bowed to rank-and-file unrest Tuesday and agreed to delay party leadership elections until Nov. 30, giving time to a group of dissidents pushing for either a change in those at the top or a different course in the Democratic agenda.
The decision, moving what had been a planned reelection of Pelosi and the entire slate of current Democratic leaders, comes amid deep angst after last week’s Tuesday elections left the party without any rung of power in Washington. Just a few weeks ago, Pelosi had been publicly predicting a gain of more than 20 seats and possibly securing the majority because Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was the “gift that keeps on giving.”
Instead, Trump swept previous Democratic strongholds in the industrial Midwest and fortified Republican candidates down ballot, particularly House GOP incumbents in suburban districts that had been key targets in Pelosi’s political strategy. With just two races left uncalled, Democrats have picked up just six seats, a crushing underperformance for what many lawmakers had been expecting.