Pelosi: Democrats on Pace to ‘Maintain the Majority’

Posted November 2, 2010 at 4:25pm

Updated: 5:40 p.m. Speaker Nancy Pelosi asserted Tuesday evening that early signs point to high Democratic voter turnout in the midterm elections, which would allow her party to beat back a Republican takeover of the House. “With the early returns and the overwhelming number of Democrats who are coming out, we are on pace to maintain the majority in the House of Representatives,” the California Democrat told reporters at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters. Pelosi, who would lose the Speaker’s gavel in a GOP wave, cautioned against counting Democrats out too soon. She has served as Speaker since 2007. “This election will not be determined by the pundits or it won’t be determined by a few precincts in the East. It’s an election that will take place all across America,” Pelosi said. Pelosi said Democrats were “very confident in our candidates and the messages that they’re delivering to preserve Social Security, to ‘Make It in America,’ to fight for the middle class.” She said she was proud of hundreds of thousands of volunteers working to get out the vote for Democratic candidates. DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen likewise predicted that voters would prove pundits who predicted a GOP rout “exactly wrong;” he called forecasts that the GOP would net the 39 seats needed to win a majority “obviously premature.” “This thing is not over,” the Maryland Democrat said. “You see high levels on energy on the Democratic side. We saw this early on in the early vote … where Democratic early votes were ahead of projections. And now you’re seeing strong turnouts by Democrats across the country in voting today,” Van Hollen said. A Democratic official said early returns indicated higher-than-expected Democratic turnout in Pennsylvania – specifically in the Lehigh Valley area – and in Connecticut, outside of Bridgeport in Democratic Rep. Jim Himes’ district. Republican Rep. Charlie Dent, who represents one of the handful of districts that Democrats have the potential to flip, represents much of the Lehigh Valley.