January 31, 2022
A new poll reveals that only 20 percent of Democratic Capitol Hill staffers believe that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer should remain as leaders of the party after the 2022 midterm elections.
In a survey from Punchbowl News, senior staffers on Capitol Hill anonymously revealed that aides from both parties were open to a change in leadership.
The poll found that a whopping 62 percent of Democratic staffers said Democratic leadership should change no matter the outcome of the midterms.
The survey found:
Another 17 percent said Democratic leadership should only be switched if Democrats do poorly in the midterms.
And finally, 20 percent said Pelosi and Schumer should stay.
That compares to 28 percent of Republican aides who said the party’s leaders – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – should be replaced regardless of the GOP’s performance in the midterms.
Republicans need a net gain of 5 seats to regain the House majority in the midterms next November.
House Democrats and senior members are pressing rank-and-file members who have announced they will step down this year ahead of what is expected to be a brutal midterm election cycle for the party to stay in their races no matter how stiff the political headwinds.
Members who have announced they will step down are being asked to run for reelection as Democrats hope to stave off what many expect to be a major Republican wave as Joe Biden’s approval ratings continue to tank and Kamala Harris remains equally unpopular amid rising inflation, a chaotic border, and foreign policy crises.
“I talked to him a couple of weeks ago, and I said, ‘Please reconsider.’ Nobody had joy when Ron Kind announced he was not going to run,” Missouri Democrat Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) also said he has spoken with several Democrats asking them to rethink their retirement decisions, though he added that none of them planned to reconsider.
Correa said he spoke to several members about rethinking their retirement announcements, though none would reconsider. “It’s clear by the time they announce that they made their decision,” he said.
He blamed the hyperpartisan climate on Capitol Hill, but in fact, most retirements that occur ahead of midterm elections come from members of the party expected to lose control of one or both chambers.
“Most of them think it’s just too much battle up here,” Correa said. “I mean, I asked myself the same thing three weeks ago. Do I run for reelection?”
“That wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the kind of thing that’s happening,” a House Democrat aide said. “It’s also the perspective of [Democratic National Congressional Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney] or whoever else is making those asks that if they’re fans of those people and they had success, it makes total sense that they’d want them to stick around.”
Some far-left Democrats are planning on targeting other members of their party who they believe are not left-wing enough.
“We need strong progressives in Congress to have some sort of counterweight and leverage against the conservative, corporate-backed Democrats who are an obstacle to delivering results,” said Waleed Shaheed, a spokesperson for the left-wing group called Justice Democrats.