sunny.png
Saturday July 31st, 2021 7:37AM

House already won? Pelosi thinks so, and reaches for more

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Nancy Pelosi once predicted she’d have the 2020 House Democratic majority secured by November — of 2019.

Now, days before the Nov. 3 election, she seems to have done it, and she's expanding her reach.

With control of the House hardly contested, Pelosi is working to fortify Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and win extra House seats in case Congress is called on to resolve any Electoral College dispute with President Donald Trump.

Pelosi said she feels so confident Democrats will keep the House this election, she’s already preparing to win the next one in 2022.

“This year, I’m trying to win it two years in advance — by being so substantial in this election that as soon as we start into the next year, people will see our strength,” Pelosi told The Associated Press in an interview.

“We intend to hold the House and grow our numbers," she said about the election Nov. 3, and "contribute to winning the Senate and the presidency.”

It's a stunning turnaround for the speaker, who just two years ago was being challenged for her job leading House Democrats. Pelosi rose as the face of party, the House impeached the president and emboldened Democrats are on the march to pick up House seats deep into Trump country.

Democrats are working to reelect some 40 House freshmen elected in the 2018 midterm to win the majority, most of them from districts Trump won in 2016. They're digging deeper for additional seats in historically out-of-reach Republican strongholds including Nebraska, Indiana and even Alaska and Montana, where winners could tip the balance in an Electoral College dispute.

To wrest control, Republicans need to gain some 20 seats, but even the House GOP leadership has downplayed their chances. Strategists say Trump is a drag at the top of the GOP ticket. Even though Republicans recruited more female and minority candidates to compete with Democrats in suburban swing districts, the battle for the House is something of an afterthought in the marquee contests for control of the White House and the Senate.

“A rising tide lifts all boats, and right now it seems a Democratic tide is rising,” said Michael Steel, a Republican strategist and former top aide to House GOP leadership.

Steel said it has less to to with Pelosi's planning than the national political environment. “I attribute the presumed success of her efforts to keep the majority more to Trump’s failures than to her stated leadership,” he said.

Those close to Pelosi’s political operation did not always join her prediction that Democrats would handily keep control.

Trump wasn't on the ballot when they picked up the majority two years ago, and freshmen are often the most vulnerable to defeat as they seek reelection, especially this class of lawmakers now having to run alongside the president in districts often off-limits to Democrats.

Pelosi pushed ahead with the risky House vote to impeach the president in late 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine only to see the Senate, controlled by Republicans, vote to acquit him of the charges in a highly charged political environment early this year.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Capitol abruptly shuttered. Pelosi engineered a rules change to allow the House to vote by proxy and work online, but it left lawmakers largely away from Washington. Now Pelosi is holding out for a robust COVID-19 aid package with the Trump administration, another risky move, seeking a $2 trillion-plus deal Republicans don't want to give.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill, who is the chairwoman of the party's campaign arm in the House, said she counseled the new lawmakers not to get swept up in the national political debate but “run your race like you're running for mayor” — meeting with constituents and responding to issues close to home.

“When we set out to do this work in 2019 we had no idea what this cycle would hold,” said Lucina Guinn, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's executive director.

The goal, she said, was to make the incumbents “as strong as possible" while also recruiting new candidates “to set up a big battlefield.”

Money helps. Pelosi is on track to be a $1 billion fundraiser for her party — an eye-popping sum during nearly two decades in leadership.

This election cycle she raised $227.9 million for Democrats — most of it for the House campaign arm — but she also shoveled $4 million for Biden from an August event and sent nearly $5 million to the state parties.

“We are ready,” Pelosi said.

She said she believes Democrats would sweep if the election were today, but it's still a week out. “It doesn’t keep me up from the standpoint of worrying about it," she said, "but it does get me up early to do something about it.”

It's another surprising turn that the Affordable Care Act, which helped cost Pelosi her House majority in the 2010 election after Democrats passed “Obamacare,” is now a political calling card being used to win over Trump voters during the COVID-19 crisis.

Voters have come to rely on the health care law's guarantees that those with preexisting health conditions can access insurance and parents can keep their adult children on family policies. A decade after President Barack Obama signed the ACA into law, Republicans are still trying to undo it, including in a court case heading to the Supreme Court a week after the election.

“Progressive ideas are actually popular, not just with progressives but also with moderate voters, with independent voters and maybe even with some Republican voters,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a co-chair of the progressive caucus.

As Pelosi, of California, becomes an even more public presence for the party, Republicans run countless campaign ads against her. But she also has a following from those celebrating her high-profile standoffs with Trump. Since the spring COVID-19 crisis, she has appeared 20 times on the Sunday morning news shows and done more than 150 national television and radio interviews, her office said.

“I would not miss any opportunity, on behalf of my colleagues, to make sure that there’s clarity on where we’re coming from on some of these issues,” she said.

She plans to run again for speaker, if Democrats keep control of the House: “Definitely.”

But that's for later. Pelosi notes experts have suggested Democrats will pick up between five and 15 House seats.

“Our goal originally was to hold the House,” she said. “Everything we get after that will just be a further enhancement.”

___

AP’s Advance Voting guide brings you the facts about voting early, by mail or absentee from each state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, General House Election News, AP Elections - Political Conventions
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Democrats ask Pence to skip Barrett vote over COVID-19 risk
A deeply torn Senate is set to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court
6:20AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Women's groups plan more protests over Poland abortion law
Women’s rights activists are planning more protests in Poland after a top court tightened the predominantly Catholic nation’s already strict abortion law
6:00AM ( 43 minutes ago )
House already won? Pelosi thinks so, and reaches for more
Speaker Nancy Pelosi once predicted she’d have the House majority won by November — but of 2019
6:00AM ( 44 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Australia protests Qatar airport's exams of women passengers
Australia has condemned Qatar authorities’ treatment of female passengers on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to internal examinations after a newborn baby was found abandoned at a Doha airport
4:24AM ( 2 hours ago )
Philippines: Typhoon leaves 13 missing, displaces thousands
A fast-moving typhoon is blowing away from the Philippines after leaving at least 13 people missing, forcing thousands of villagers to flee to safety and flooding rural villages
3:53AM ( 2 hours ago )
Early vote total exceeds 2016; GOP chips at Dems' advantage
The number of people casting an early ballot in the presidential election now surpasses those who voted early during all of 2016
3:14AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Californians see power shutoffs as winds, fire danger rise
Hundreds of thousands of Californians lost power as utilities sought to prevent the chance of their equipment sparking wildfires and the fire-weary state braced for a new bout of dry, windy weather
11:17PM ( 7 hours ago )
New storm Zeta a hurricane threat to Mexico, US Gulf Coast
Newly formed Tropical Storm Zeta is barely advancing in the western Caribbean, but forecasters say it poses the risk of a rain-heavy hurricane for Mexico’s resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula and the U.S. Gulf Coast
10:58PM ( 7 hours ago )
Trump aide: 'We're not going to control the pandemic'
The coronavirus has reached the upper echelons of the White House again, with an outbreak among aides to Vice President Mike Pence just over a week from Election Day
10:33PM ( 8 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Thai Parliament meets to debate political protest tensions
Thailand’s Parliament has begun a special session that was called to address tensions as pro-democracy protests draw students and other demonstrators into the streets almost daily demanding the prime minister’s resignation
4:19AM ( 2 hours ago )
Malaysian PM faces calls to resign after emergency rebuffed
Malaysia’s prime minister is facing calls to resign after the king rebuffed his proposal for a coronavirus emergency that critics saw as an undemocratic attempt to hold onto power
3:16AM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Lockdown largely ending in Melbourne, Australia
Australia’s former coronavirus hot spot Melbourne will largely emerge from lockdown after the city recorded its first day without a new COVID-19 case in more than four months
2:10AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Pence to be in Minnesota on Monday after all
Vice President Mike Pence will be campaigning in Minnesota after all on Monday
5:33PM ( 13 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump makes play for an electoral vote in Maine
President Donald Trump made a brief swing to Maine’s 2nd Congressional District on Sunday to present his case for its single electoral vote
4:54PM ( 13 hours ago )
Turkish president dares U.S. to impose economic sanctions
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has challenged the United States to impose sanctions against his country
4:40PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Asian shares mostly fall on uncertainty over US election
Asian shares are mostly lower in muted trading amid widespread uncertainty over what the U.S. presidential election will portend for markets and economic policy
2:38AM ( 4 hours ago )
Asian shares little changed on uncertainty over US election
Asian shares are little changed in muted trading amid widespread uncertainty over what the U.S. presidential election will portend for markets and economic policy
11:47PM ( 6 hours ago )
FBI investigating fire set in Boston ballot drop box
Massachusetts election officials say a fire was set in a Boston ballot drop box holding more than 120 ballots in what appears to have been a “deliberate attack."
8:54PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Elections
Surging coronavirus colors White House race in closing days
President Donald Trump assured supporters at weekend rallies that “we’re rounding the turn” on the coronavirus at the same time cases are spiking and the news broke that the vice president's top aide is now infected
1:21AM ( 1 day ago )
Murkowski's nod gives Barrett extra boost for Supreme Court
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett won crucial backing  when one of the last Republican holdouts against filling the seat so close to Election Day announced support ahead of a confirmation vote expected Monday
12:25AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Pence's top aide tests positive for coronavirus
A spokesman says Vice President Mike Pence will continue with his aggressive campaign schedule after his chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday
11:11PM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Observers say Tanzania's presidential vote is already flawed
Tanzania’s opposition faces a new obstacle in its quest to unseat President John Magufuli in Wednesday’s election: It says the government has made it difficult to accredit thousands of opposition electoral observers who want to ensure the vote is fair
4:59AM ( 1 day ago )
Ukraine's local elections test leader and his young party
Ukrainians are voting in local elections that are considered a test for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy
3:24AM ( 1 day ago )
Beyond the Needle: Probability experts assess 2020 race
Probability estimates for the 2020 U.S. presidential election are still being made, but one fixture of the 2016 cycle won’t make a return
4:41PM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Egypt's parliamentary vote likely to tighten leader's grip
Egyptians have begun voting in the first stage of a parliamentary election, in a vote that is highly likely to produce a toothless lower chamber packed with supporters of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi
7:14AM ( 1 day ago )
Pandemic relief talks inch ahead, but McConnell is resistant
Negotiations on a COVID-19 relief bill have taken a modest step forward, though time is running out and President Donald Trump’s most powerful Senate ally is pressing the White House not to move ahead
1:57PM ( 4 days ago )
Pandemic relief talks inch ahead but McConnell is resistant
President Donald Trump’s most powerful Senate ally is pressing the White House not to move ahead on a pandemic relief package
12:56AM ( 5 days ago )
General House Election News
The Needle goes away as probability experts assess 2020 race
Probability estimates for the 2020 U.S. presidential election are still being made, but one fixture of the 2016 cycle won’t make a return
8:40AM ( 1 day ago )
Senate GOP marches ahead on Barrett over Democrats' blockade
The Senate is gearing up for a rare weekend session as Republicans race to put Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court and cement a conservative majority before Election Day despite Democratic efforts to stall President Donald Trump’s nominee
12:13AM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Trump calls 'Borat' star an unfunny 'creep'
President Donald Trump says he thinks Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedian behind the “Borat” films, is “a creep.”
11:24PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Democrats ask Pence to skip Barrett vote over COVID-19 risk
A deeply torn Senate is set to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court
6:20AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Women's groups plan more protests over Poland abortion law
Women’s rights activists are planning more protests in Poland after a top court tightened the predominantly Catholic nation’s already strict abortion law
6:00AM ( 44 minutes ago )
The Latest: Anderlecht player, staff member test positive
A player and a member of the medical staff at Belgian soccer club Anderlecht have tested positive for the coronavirus
5:45AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Armenia, Azerbaijan accuse each other of truce violations
Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating the new U.S.-brokered cease-fire aimed to halt the fighting over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh
5:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
Global shares fall on uncertainty over US election, pandemic
Global shares are lower amid widespread uncertainty over what the U.S. presidential election will portend for markets and economic policy
5:27AM ( 1 hour ago )