Democrats Divided After Georgia Loss

from The Wall Street Journal,

Defeat in special House race leaves party split heading into 2018.

The Democratic Party recriminations came swiftly following Jon Ossoff’s expensive loss in Tuesday’s special election in Georgia, which had been seen as the party’s best shot at gaining a House seat ahead of the 2018 midterms elections. Democratic divisions surfaced in the wake of Mr. Ossoff’s defeat by Republican Karen Handel, whose campaign mobilized GOP voters by linking Mr. Ossoff to liberal national party leaders. Republicans who sat out the first round of voting in April flocked to the polls, producing record-breaking turnout, in part because the race had drawn so much attention. In the aftermath of the disappointing loss, the populist wing of the Democratic party blamed Washington consultants and Mr. Ossoff for not backing the type of economic policies favored by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Young House Democrats who have clamored for a change in party leadership bemoaned the effectiveness of GOP attacks that tied Mr. Ossoff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. And in South Carolina, where Democrat Archie Parnell came far closer than expected to snatching a heavily Republican seat Tuesday, local critics said they could have done better if party officials in Washington had listened to their pleas that the race was competitive and devoted more resources to driving up turnout in African-American neighborhoods. “I think that our leadership owes us an explanation for what happened, and how the resources were spent, but also a plan going forward,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.). “That’s got to be part of the discussion.”

Pelosi herself has a different view.

“I respect any opinion that my members have, but my decision about how long I stay is not up to them,” Mrs. Pelosi said at a Thursday press conference. “I think I’m worth the trouble.”

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