MSNBC host Chuck Todd laid some of the blame for the Democrats’ losses in Georgia and South Carolina on Tuesday on on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “It is Pelosi who remains a pretty big drag for Democrats at the polls in certain districts, particularly this one,” Todd said of Pelosi's effect on Georgia's Sixth Congressional District.
Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff lost in a special election against Republican Karen Handel. Handel said in her acceptance speech that the people of the 5th Congressional District of her state simply did not want anyone associated with Pelosi. Also, Todd speculated that Pelosi was Republicans' most “potent” weapon of “attack.”
Todd singled out several campaign advertisements that have appeared since 2010, which tie several different candidates to Pelosi. “For Democrats, they've got to start thinking about how hard it's going to be to sell voters on a 'change' environment in a 'change' election if the answer to the question of 'Okay, who's [sic] Democrats going to put in as Speaker of the House,' if the answer is still Nancy Pelosi,” Todd said.
Pelosi appeared to be unbowed on Thursday. Delivering a message to her Democratic detractors, “When it comes to personal ambition and having fun on TV, have your fun.” At a press briefing, she added, “I love the arena; I thrive on competition; and I welcome the discussion. But I am honored by the support.”
There are a number of Democrats, most of them of the younger demographic, tried to replace Pelosi last year after President Trump won the White House. New life was added to that effort by Ossoff’s defeat. Republicans used ads featuring Pelosi, who is despised by many Republicans, to drum up support for Handel. “Those are still effective ads that hurt our candidate,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (R-Ohio), who sought to replace Pelosi last November. “We’d better take a good, long, strong look in the mirror and realize that the problem is us, it’s the party.”