Dem Reps: Nancy Pelosi Needs to Go

• April 8, 2015 11:18 am


With Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) retiring in 2016 and handing off Senate leadership, some House Democrats have begun to call for new blood in their house leadership.

A couple of Massachusetts congressmen suggested Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D., Calif.) efforts in the House are not working, with Democrats losing seats in the lower chamber at historic levels.

"Nancy Pelosi will not lead us back to the majority," Rep. Steve Lynch (D., Mass.) said.

Democrats control 188 seats in the House, compared to Speaker John Boehner’s (R., Ohio) dominant 247 seats. In fact, since President Obama took office, Democrats have lost nearly 70 seats in the House, putting him in the company of Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman. Republicans have not held this many seats in the House since 1949.

With such overwhelming odds against them, it would be difficult to find a political expert who believes the Democrats could regain control of the House in 2016.

"I think we need leadership that understands if something you are doing is not working, change what you are doing," Rep. Michael Capuano (D., Mass.), her former transition chief, said.

Pelosi is unlikely to be forced out of her position. With close connections to the California elite, Pelosi is the most prolific fundraiser in the party. The congresswoman of 28 years raised more than $100 million for the 2014 cycle and has raised over $430 million since she joined Democratic leadership.

Other members of the Democratic caucus have focused their blame on other problems with the party.

Rep. Steve Israel (D., N.Y.) said he thinks Democrats have a communications problem.

"Our message cannot be a bunch of Democrats running around saying we have no message. That’s not a good message," Israel said.

Reid’s staff disagreed.

"The president’s approval rating is barely 40 percent," David Krone, Reid’s chief of staff, said. "What else more is there to say? … He wasn’t going to play well in North Carolina or Iowa or New Hampshire. I’m sorry. It doesn’t mean that the message was bad, but sometimes the messenger isn’t good.

Democrats will have to flip 30 seats to win back the majority. While not historically unprecedented, it remains a huge challenge.

"Getting the 30 they need will be a very steep climb," said Roll Call’s Nathan L. Gonzales.