SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A KPIX 5 poll found that 35 percent of Bay Area Democrats want House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to voluntarily cede power to someone younger, while 37 percent want her to fight to keep her leadership position.
Long a punching bag for Republicans, the criticism of Pelosi from the Bay Area’s Progressive Left and also mainstream Democrats is growing louder.
When a group of ten Democrats running for a House seat in New Hampshire were asked if they’d vote for her, only one raised his hand.
In Pennsylvania, a new crop of Democrats is also distancing themselves from Pelosi. Congressman Conor Lamb (D-Pennsylvania) won his election after running an ad in which he publicly stated that he doesn’t support Pelosi.
“I’ve already said on the front page of the newspaper that I don’t support Nancy Pelosi,” he said in the ad.
The 35 percent of Bay Area Democrats that want Pelosi out cite her age — she’s 78 years old — as the main reason for her to hand over her position to someone younger. KPIX 5 asked Pelosi about the 35 percent in favor of her ceding power.
“You know what? I have been the victim of massive Republican ads. I don’t believe that your opponents should choose your leaders. I feel very confident about my ability to lead us to victory,” said Pelosi.
KPIX 5 also spoke to Nate Ballard, a longtime strategist for Democrat politicians. Ballard said that sexism is a factor in the attacks on Pelosi. He said that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell–who is 76 years old–is not being attacked by Republicans for his age.
“These attacks on Nancy Pelosi, to me, have the aroma of sexism around them,” said Ballard. “I don’t believe that these same attacks would be levied against somebody who is not a woman.”
Ballard said Democrats are frustrated because they want a leader who can go out and challenge Donald Trump every single day, but that is not the main priority of a party leader in Congress such as Pelosi.
“It’s not her job to be the national spokesman for all the Democrats. It’s her job to make sure we are fundraising and being strategic about our campaign to retake the House,” said Ballard. “She’s the best one at this job right now.”
Thanks to her fundraising prowess and ability to keep the House Democrats in check, Pelosi is likely not going anywhere anytime soon.
“I know how to win elections, so I’m going to lead them to victory in November, and I have the full confidence of my caucus,” stated Pelosi.
Traditionally, elections for new party leadership are held after the June primary. But this year, the party decided to move those leadership elections to December.
So depending on what voters do in November, there could be some changes on the horizon.
As to who might replace Pelosi as party leader, Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, who ran against her once before and was defeated, said he might try again. The outcome of the midterm elections in November might also encourage more candidates to enter the fray.