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Tipsheet

Nancy Pelosi Still Seems to Think Democrats Have a Chance to Not Only Keep the House, but Gain Seats

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

We are now five weeks away from the midterms, and it looks like Republicans still have an edge to win, as has been increasingly acknowledged once again. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), however, is not included among those who has been reading the writing on the wall. 

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The speaker appeared on Monday night's episode of CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," during which she was asked about her party's chances in the fast-approaching midterm elections. To much applause, she said she believes not only "we will hold the House," but that they will do so "by winning more seats."

Pelosi made a similar prediction in an interview with Punchbowl News published last month. "We spoke to Pelosi twice on Tuesday. Once, as Pelosi entered her office, she responded, 'Yes, indeed,' when asked if Democrats would win seats in November," the September 14 edition of Punchbowl News AM read.

Back in February, Pelosi also told ABC's George Stephanopoulos during her appearance on "This Week" that "I don't agonize, I organize," making clear she intended for her party to remain in power. This included even when Stephanopoulos framed such a prediction as a matter of "debunking history." Pelosi said to "forget history" because "we're talking about future" since they "are fully intent to win this election."

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While speaking to Colbert on Monday, Pelosi also joked with the host about how she accidentally brought up former President Donald Trump. When it comes to the Democratic versus Republican power dynamic majority, she explained how "we lost some when Trump was on the ballot. We lost some of the Trump districts, but we held enough seats to hold the House with him on the ballot," pointing out "he's not on the ballot now."

Pelosi ultimately caught herself saying his name, though, claiming "I didn't mean to." Colbert offered to "have the video tapes fumigated," and Pelosi suggested "perhaps you could bleep that out."

This is not the only time Pelosi has been so dramatic about uttering the former president's name. During a July press conference, when asked about Trump potentially running in 2024, she answered the question with another question. "Do I ever even mention his name? Would I even waste my time talking about him?" 

It's worth pointing out, though, that even Colbert acknowledged during Monday's episode that "the polls still aren't reflecting necessarily what you're saying," when it comes to Pelosi's intention for Democrats to hold onto the House. Pelosi had mentioned abortion and the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a factor in why she thinks Democrats can motivate their base enough to hold the House, prompting Colbert's response.

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While Colbert didn't go into such specifics, the context is that while Democrats focus on abortion, it's just not resonating with voters enough in the polls. Respondents place more of a level of importance on economic issues, like inflation, and favor the Republican Party to handle those economic issues. 

Pelosi was not buying it though:

So you know that [Maryland] is a horse racing state.  And in Maryland, when you're in the lead – which we believe we are, which we believe we are, we're in the lead.  You're in the stretch, we made the turn.  It’s one – five weeks from tomorrow is the election so we're – and voting starts even sooner than that.  When you're in the lead, and you're in the stretch, you whip the lead.  And that's what we are doing: we're whipping the lead to ensure a Democratic victory.  

I feel just watching each of the races – forgive me for saying this, in a very cold-blooded way, as to which races we can win, to ensure that we not only hold the House, but we increase our number. 

As Spencer and Guy have also pointed out, Democrats actually fear being in the lead, given how polls have been so wrong before.

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Pelosi also mentioned the 2020 election, during which her party won less seats than expected, and Republicans actually exceeded expectations. If that happens this time, and it's very possible it will, Pelosi will be in for a real surprise. 

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