UPDATE: She's back. Pelosi beat Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)134-63.
Even after presiding over two massive losses (2010, 2014), having no strategy to retake the House, and a shocking upset in the 2016 presidential election, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will likely survive her leadership challenge from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who tossed his hat in the ring to try to reset the agenda for House Democrats. It’s no shocker that rural counties trend Republican, but Donald Trump got the white working class, which has felt abandoned by the Democratic Party, energized to the point where the rural vote overtook the urban elites. Clinton being a terrible candidate who didn’t excite the Obama coalition didn’t help either. Ryan’s bid was to show that Democrats were serious about winning back what turned out to be the lynchpin of the Obama coalition. Democrats are not naïve. They know the rural vote will go Republican, the point is to not allow the GOP to run up the score in these areas the way they did on November 8.
After losing the House in 2010, with lackluster gains in 2012, and deeper losses in 2014, one would think that it’s time to change captains. Not with the Democrats; Ryan has 12 endorsements to Pelosi’s 80, with the latter having the four-fifths support needed to be re-elected House Minority Leader (via Roll Call):
As of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had garnered public endorsements from at least 80 Democratic members — four-fifths of the total she needs to hold onto her leadership post.
The Californian, who has been the top Democrat since 2003, is facing a challenge from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who had only 12 public endorsements as of 8:30 p.m.
The winner of the secret-ballot race will need to garner a simple majority of votes cast, which would be 100 if all 198 members of the Democratic Caucus for the 115th Congress are present to vote Wednesday.
Rema Rahman, also of Roll Call, added that the last time someone challenged Pelosi for the leadership, former Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), he only received 43 votes. She added that one-third of the 198 House Democrats slated to serve in the 115th Congress come from New York, California, and Massachusetts, only further proving that this is in fact an elitist, coastal party. For Democrats, it may take a change, like putting a Democrat from the Rust Belt to right the ship, but as we have mentioned before—it’s doubtful that Democrats are actually serious about winning back the working class or caring about their issues. There is simply too much power, money, and energy in the cities and they’re going to double-down on that strategy. Pelosi being re-elected to her leadership position in the House will be a sign these folks aren’t serious. On the other hand, Donald Trump and the Republicans need to deliver on the big-ticket items of their agenda. Obama will be gone. No more excuses.
At the same time, Ryan says that we should expect to be surprised: