Dems come up short in special elections, but find a silver lining

The wall, which was a signature campaign promise, has not been at the center of the White House's agenda.

She continues to command a great degree of loyalty from many House Democrats, and allies dismissed the idea that her position was in any kind of jeopardy. When Brown decisively won the office long occupied by the late-Democratic Sen.

Wednesday, Pelosi stressed that now was the time for Democrats to come together.

"That, I hope for a lot of people, can give them optimism".

When I wrote about why Democrats are losing special elections nationwide, I noted the pitfalls of trying to win these contests with outside operatives and by nationalizing the races.

Instead of a win or even a razor-thin loss by Democrat Jon Ossoff that many had expected, Republican Karen Handel ended up winning by a relatively comfortable 4 percentage point margin in the wealthy suburban Atlanta district previously held by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. And she remains the party's most prodigious fundraiser, bringing in $567.9 million for the party since she joined leadership in 2002. Second-in-command Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is 78, and number three Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., is 76.

Norman, the conservative candidate, was funded through the House Freedom Fund and committed to joining the Freedom Caucus - the House's most conservative caucus, which has proved to be a thorn in House leadership's side. "Pelosi is the gift that keeps on giving".

None of that suggests that Pelosi faces an immediate challenge to her leadership.

"I respect the comments of some in our Caucus but right now we must be unified in order to defeat Trumpcare", the minority leader said in a written statement to CNN. Later that year, Florida's highest court struck down the law. The daughter and sister of former Baltimore mayors, she rose quickly through Democratic ranks in the 1980s as California party chairman, then finance chair for the party's Senate campaign committee. The question is whether they win enough, and no special election offers the answer to that. And running simply on an anti-Trump message - like Clinton tried and failed previous year - wouldn't work for Democrats in 2018 either, no matter how mired in scandal and controversy over Russian Federation the White House may be.

According to the CRP, Pelosi ranks third in generosity to other candidates over the past 27 years, behind Hoyer ($11.8 million) and former Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio ($11.1 million).

"We know that the Republican Party, certainly the tax cuts that the Trump administration has promised, is going to benefit that community", she added, "so I don't think we should be so surprised that they voted in their best interest". "I think she's the most capable leader that we have and I can't imagine anyone else who could do such an important job and do it so well".

The Democrats just don't have many top-tier opportunities to win Republican-held seats.

In the Ossoff race, even though the 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer ended up running a more centrist and not Trump-centric campaign, Republicans were able to zero in on the more than $23 million in donations Ossoff raised, largely from liberal enclaves like California and NY, and make an easy connection to Pelosi. "But her time has come and gone".

Rep. Seth Moulton echoed her complaints in a Wednesday interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. "I don't think people in the beltway are realizing just how toxic the Democratic Party brand is in so many parts of the country". "It's time for a new generation of leadership in the party", he said.

The Republicans have a real shot to retain control of the House in a political climate that would doom them under typical circumstances. "Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason Ossoff lost".

Put on defense, House Democratic leaders from Pelosi on down tried to spin the outcome in Georgia as positive, arguing that coming in a close second in the solidly Republican district augured well for their chances of taking back the House next year.