Conservative analyst: GOP needs new ‘symbol of liberalism’ to replace Pelosi in campaign ads

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel Pelosi taps Kinzinger to serve on Jan. 6 panel MORE (D-Calif.) has long been a top target for Republicans in campaign advertisements, but one conservative analyst thinks they may need to change that tactic.

“The Democrats are successfully running away from her,” conservative political analyst Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said Friday on Hill.TV's “What America’s Thinking,” a show about public opinion and polling.

With their own party in the White House and in control of both houses of Congress, Republicans have continued to regularly focus on Pelosi in campaigns.

In 2017, the long-serving Democratic leader was referenced in many attack ads ran against Democrat Jon Ossoff in his unsuccessful special election campaign in Georgia. The GOP also tried to tie Pelosi to Conor Lamb, a Democrat who won a special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

Lamb rejected the association early on and his victory has seemingly inspired other aspiring Democratic office-holders to do the same.

In a June Politico analysis, at least 20 Democratic candidates had publicly said they would not vote for Pelosi to become the Speaker should Democrats gain a majority in the midterm elections this fall.

“Republicans need to be coming up with some other symbol to tie ‘liberalism’ around the necks of the Democrats because so many Democrats are successfully saying I’m not a Nancy Pelosi Democrat,” Olsen said.

Pelosi has publicly declined to threaten retribution against Democrats who say they won’t vote for her to as the party's leader.

“I think if they have to do that to win the election, I’m all for winning,” Pelosi told Politico in May. “I think many of them are saying we need new leadership. I don’t take offense at that.”

Since her surprise upset of another top Democrat in the House, self-described “socialist” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has become the target of some Republicans trying to elevate her and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTo break the corporate tax logjam, tax overinflated CEO pay Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Grassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa MORE (I-Vt.), who also calls himself a socialist, in general attacks against Democrats.

“These are the parties that are saying, ‘We’re socialists now. We want open borders, we want people who are not citizens to be able to vote. We want to raise your taxes.’ That’s the kind of agenda that's going to really help the Republicans in November, and I really think it’s going to help them in terms of turnout,” GOP pollster Jim McLaughlin said earlier this week on Hill.TV.

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBipartisan bill will help level the playing field for small businesses Republicans hammer HUD chief over sluggish rental aid Key GOP lawmaker backs Powell for another term as Fed chief MORE (D-Calif.), one of the most prominent liberal Democratic members, said Wednesday that she thought it was inaccurate to characterize her party as socialist.

“I just don’t think that our party should be identified because we have a few people who seem to be to the left of the left,” she said on CNBC. “I think that’s an exaggeration. The Democratic Party is not a socialist party.”

— Matthew Sheffield