House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appears to be losing support from her party, according to published reports. Although Pelosi is likely one of the nation’s most visible Democrats, some California House candidates are distancing themselves from her.
Is it time for new leadership?
“While I respect Leader Pelosi’s years of advocacy on behalf of California and the Democratic Party, it’s time for new leadership,” Gil Cisneros, who is running for an Orange County seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Ed Royce, said in a statement. In it, he explained why he won’t support Pelosi if Democrats take back the House and she runs for speaker.
Democrat Andrew Janz, who is running a tough race against GOP Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare, has also said he won’t support Pelosi, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
In a March interview with NBC, Janz said: “I think it’s time for a new generation of leaders to go to Washington, and this is with respect to both Democrats and Republicans. I think the country, and my district in particular, is hungry for change.”
Cisneros and Janz represent a growing chorus of Democratic challengers who are distancing themselves from Pelosi, 78, a magnet for GOP criticism.
Republicans are linking Democratic candidates to Pelosi as a way to discredit them.
“With Pelosi as speaker, everything we’ve fought for will come undone,” according to a digital ad the National Republican Congressional Committee began running in May. “Democrats will raise your taxes if they take back control of Congress — that’s what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi now says.”
Many of the new Dems are “young, progressive and politically inexperienced...” and the ads are damaging, the San Francisco Chronicle noted.
Democrat Jon Ossoff lost a 2017 special election in Georgia after a “flood GOP advertising” implied he would become “rubber-stamp for Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda,” the report states. Other Democratic candidates have faced similar attacks.
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) said before the start of his special election campaign that he would not support Pelosi for Speaker. And he secured a narrow victory in March amid a slew of GOP ads that attacked Pelosi.
Why is this happening?
Lamb's success likely inspired others to back away from Pelosi.
“It’s a way of addressing a potential vulnerability,” Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, stated in the report. “In a tight race, you don’t want to lose even a small group of voters” who may be put off by Pelosi.