CNN published a report on Friday indicating that a significant number of House Democrats, regardless of what happens in the upcoming midterm elections, want new leadership or, in other words, want House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to go.
There has been much speculation about Pelosi’s future in politics for some time now: Will she stay? Will she go? Will it depend on the results of the midterm elections? etc.
The answer to these questions is, at best, unclear. So, reporters, this week, tried to obtain some clarity on the situation from Pelosi herself.
Pelosi sidesteps the question
On Wednesday, reporters asked Pelosi whether she would seek another term as Speaker of the House if the Democrats were to maintain control of the lower chamber in the midterm elections – a prospect that polls would suggest is highly unlikely.
Pelosi refused to answer the question. Instead, she replied, “look, right now, my focus is on holding the House.”
Pelosi was pressed on the issue throughout the press conference, but she insisted, “first we win, then we decide.”
That is, indeed, the way it works, but it doesn’t answer the question of what exactly Pelosi’s plans are for the future.
“A consensus is emerging”
If CNN’s reporting is accurate, then regardless of whether the Democrats win or lose the House this November, Pelosi is likely on her way out because a “sizable contingent” of House Democrats want new leadership.
The outlet reports, “in interviews with more than two dozen House Democrats, a consensus is emerging: If they lose the majority, there would be overwhelming pressure for Pelosi to go, a prospect that Democratic sources say the powerful House speaker is keenly aware of.”
But with polls and fresh momentum giving House Democrats some sparks of optimism about the midterm elections, multiple members say they are also starting to see how, if they do hold control, it could lead to Pelosi extending her time in power. Yet Democrats are split about that possibility, with a sizable contingent eager for new leadership regardless of the outcome, even if she’d be the heavy favorite to hold onto the gavel.
In its report, CNN quotes House Democrats on both sides of the issue. One claimed that Pelosi wouldn’t have the votes to remain speaker. Time will tell.
One question worth asking, though, is, “if not Pelosi, then who?”