Tags: Barack Obama | Nancy Pelosi | midterms | wave | GOP

Nancy Pelosi: Midterms Were Not a GOP Wave

Nancy Pelosi: Midterms Were Not a GOP Wave
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:17 AM

Despite Republicans expanding their majority in the House by more than 10 seats, retaking control of the Senate and increasing their strength in state legislatures, Nancy Pelosi denies the midterm elections were a Republican wave.

"I do not believe what happened the other night is a wave," Pelosi told Politico.

"There was no wave of approval for the Republicans. I wish them congratulations, they won the election, but there was no wave of approval for anybody. There was an ebbing, an ebb tide, for us."

Republicans increased their majority to 53 seats in the Senate this morning when the
Republican Dan Sullivan was declared the victor in Alaska, defeating incumbent Democrat Mark Begich, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The final Senate contest will be decided in a runoff on Dec. 6 between Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and Republican challenger Bill Cassidy.

Pelosi told Politico that the problem is not with the Democratic message or their priorities, but in a failure to engage voters.

Her remarks to Politico do not differ from the message she delivered to her caucus in the immediate aftermath of the Nov. 4 elections.

"Next year has to be the year to expand the universe of people who vote. I'm concerned that eligible voters did not vote in the election this year," Pelosi told Democratic members, according to The Hill.

"We have the magic and the resources to have massive voter registration over the country — not just places that might benefit the Democrats," she added.

Some Democrats, however, believe it was not the turnout but the message that was the problem.

New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. said Democrats would not win if they continued talking about Pelosi’s favored "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds" agenda.

"Where the hell were the Democrats? What were we talking about?" he told the Bergen County Record. "We’re losing white men. Why are we not talking about that? Why are we always concerned with what’s the politically correct thing to say?"

As Democrats look back on what went wrong in the midterms, many in the party leadership seem to have settled on voter turnout as the primary cause for their resounding defeat.

"We know we are right on the issues," said Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a taped message to Democrats.

Story continues below video.


"But the electoral success we have when our presidential nominee is able to make the case to the country as a whole doesn't translate in other elections. That is why we lost in 2010. And that is why we lost on Tuesday," she added.

Even President Barack Obama argued the outcome of the elections was not a referendum on his policies, but a failure of voters to go to the polls.

"There's no doubt Republicans had a good night. To everyone that voted, I want you to know that I heard you. To the two-thirds of voters that chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you too," he said during a press conference the day after the elections.

In her Politico interview, the House Minority Leader also pointed to the two-thirds of Americans who sat out the election.

"We have to engage people in voting again. Two-thirds of the electorate did not vote in this election the other night," Pelosi said. "That’s shameful."

She did concede Democrats need to appeal to the young voters who were crucial to Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012.

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Despite Republicans expanding their majority in the House by more than 10 seats, retaking control of the Senate and increasing their strength in state legislatures, Nancy Pelosi denies the midterm elections were a Republican wave.
Nancy Pelosi, midterms, wave, GOP
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2014-17-12
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:17 AM
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