House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Democrats defied history and those who doubted their messaging after the party clinched a majority in the Senate and secured more seats than expected in the House.
Democrats are guaranteed the majority in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris as tiebreaker, after Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was projected to win reelection against Republican Adam Laxalt on Saturday. The House is still up in the air, but Democrats have flipped seats that were expected to go the Republicans’ way.
Pelosi said in an interview on ABC News’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos that overall, Democrats had a different and positive approach to the midterm elections. Historically, the party occupying the White House expects to lose a considerable number of seats in Congress.
“It was not anything that we ever accepted when the pundits in Washington said we couldn’t win because history, history, history,” Pelosi said. “Elections are about the future.”
She praised incumbents and candidates who managed to flip seats, suggesting they understood their districts and rejected calls from Washington to change their messages to be more appealing to voters.
“Our message was clear: people over politics,” she said. “Lower costs, bigger paychecks, safer communities. And they knew the value of a woman’s right to choose. They knew how important it was to protect our democracy. They knew the contrast between themselves and their opponents, and that is what made them win.”
Pelosi said she hopes that people learned a lesson from the Democrats’ win.
“Really, it depresses the vote sometimes when people say, ‘It’s all over’ 18 months before the election,” Pelosi said. “We never accepted that.”
As in interviews prior to the midterm elections, Pelosi declined to comment on whether she will run for speaker if Democrats are able to secure a House majority.
“I’m not — right now, I’m not making any comments until this election is finished and we have a little more time to go,” she said, adding that she wishes it would be faster. However, Pelosi said she has “no plans” to step away from Congress anytime soon.
Pelosi said Democrats holding the Senate as well as having a strong vote in the House is a very different outcome than some would have predicted.
“Whatever the outcome, we’re on the path to taking our country to a better place than with being dragged down by the other side,” Pelosi said.