U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi
of San Francisco decisively defeated
a challenger to her leadership of House Democrats today. Rep. Tim Ryan
of Youngstown, Ohio, garnered 63 votes from the minority party caucus to Pelosi's 134.
The New York Times notes
that Pelosi's victory "ensures that the party will be led in the next Congress by the established 'coastal' Democrats who have increasingly defined it." The Dems leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer
, is from New York.
House Democrats also voted to stay the course with the No. 2 and No. 3 leadership seats in that chamber, re-electing Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina.
This means House leadership will also remain decisively septuagenarian: Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn are 76, 77 and 76, respectively.
To reiterate: The Democratic Party eight years ago held control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. In 2010, it lost the House. In 2014, it lost the Senate. In 2016, it lost the presidency to a reality TV star. Throughout that time, the Democrats losses at the state level have been even more devastating; 31 out of 50 states now have a Republican governor and the GOP is the majority in two-thirds of statehouse legislative chambers. In almost half the states in the country — 24 — Republicans have control of both the governorship and both legislative chambers.
The policy legacy of the Obama era is about to be dismantled, and the 2018 midterm electoral map
is dominated by senate contests in states that are either decisively red (North Dakota, Montana, Indiana) or in swing states that broke for Donald Trump (Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania).
The Democratic Party, as Matthew Yglesias observed, is a smoking pile of rubble.
But who needs a leadership change?