Pelosi says Democrats are ‘strongly outperforming expectations’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Greg Nash
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during her weekly press conference on Friday, September 30, 2022.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) early Wednesday morning said Democrats are “strongly outperforming expectations,” but noted that several races still remain too close to declare a winner.

“While many races remain too close to call, it is clear that House Democratic Members and candidates are strongly outperforming expectations across the country,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“As states continue to tabulate the final results, every vote must be counted as cast,” she added.

Democrats notched a number of key wins on Tuesday, seemingly fending off what many had thought would be a Republican red wave. Early wins in Virginia — where Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D) and Jennifer Wexton (D) secured their reelection in tight races — fueled hope that Democratic losses this cycle would not be as extensive as some had predicted.

Those hopes deepened with a victory from Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D), who defeated Rep. Mayra Flores (R) in Texas’s 34th Congressional District in a competitive member vs. member race. And in Rhode Island, Democrat Seth Magaziner defeated Republican Allan Fung in an open seat currently held by retiring Rep. Jim Langevin (D). The district was seen as leaning toward the Republican Party.

Even before results began rolling in, Pelosi predicted that many would “be surprised this evening,” adding that she saw a way for Democrats to hold the House.

“We have far superior candidates, we own the ground out there today, and just because a pundit in Washington says history says you can’t win is no deterrent for the enthusiasm we have out there,” she told “PBS NewsHour’s” Judy Woodruff in an interview.

It was not, however, all good news for the House Democratic Caucus: Rep. Elaine Luria (D) was defeated in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District by state Sen. Jen Kiggans (R).

Republicans are still favored to win control of the House, according to The New York Times, which gives the party an 84 percent chance.

Democrats also notched major victories outside the House. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) is projected to beat Republican Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s hotly contested Senate race, and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) was elected to her first full term in New York, staving off a challenge from Rep. Lee Zeldin (R).

Some Republicans quickly noticed that the red wave many had predicted was not taking hold. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), during an interview with NBC News, said “definitely not a Republican wave, that is for darn sure,” and Flores — who just lost her bid — wrote on Twitter, “The RED WAVE did not happen.”

A number of House, Senate and gubernatorial races, however, have yet to be called.

Pelosi, nonetheless, extended a thank you to the party’s “grassroots volunteers for enabling every voter to have their say in our Democracy.”

Tags 2022 midterms 2022 Midterms House Elaine Luria Jim Langevin Kathy Hochul Nancy Pelosi Vicente Gonzalez
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