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JUNE 28, 2018
Pelosi is hurting the alleged blue wave. Anyone looking for signs that Nancy Pelosi has lost clout within the Democratic ranks this cycle need only catch a glimpse of last weeks candidate forum in New Hampshires 1st Congressional District. When 10 Democratic candidates were asked if theyd support the House minority leader for speaker if elected and the Democrats regain the chambers majority, only one raised his hand. Their hesitation speaks to a growing uneasiness among this years midterm candidates especially in swing districts with the veteran California Democrats 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.
With his defiance, Lamb started a trend seen
in the New Hampshire forum and races across the country. Since then, some
20 Democratic congressional challengers in districts controlled by Republicans
have publicly distanced themselves from Pelosi. Among them are Clarke Tucker,
the Democratic nominee in Arkansass 2nd District who declared in a TV
commercial that Ive said from day one that I wont vote for Nancy Pelosi.