Is Nancy Pelosi Finished as House Speaker?

Even if Democrats stave off loses, a sizable number would like new leadership

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As the 2010 midterms shape up to what could be an emphatic victory for congressional Republicans, some anxious Democrats are dropping blame on the shoulders of Nancy Pelosi. The Speaker of the House has become a national target in local races, and a "steady trickle" of Democrats would like to see Pelosi relinquish her position this November regardless of the election's outcome. Even consultant James Carville conceded that the time may be right for the her to move on from the spotlight. The latest Gallup poll only bolsters these grumblings, showing Pelosi's favorability rating dropping to 29 percent--a new low.

  • Her Support Is Eroding  finds Michael O'Brien at The Hill. "The slipping favorability numbers for the Speaker come as a growing number of Democratic incumbents and candidates are showing cracks in her base of support. A steady trickle of Democrats have said that they wouldn't vote for her again as Speaker, and an even larger number have refused to commit to supporting her. Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) said that he'd heard she wouldn't seek another term as Speaker, though Pelosi has shown indications that she would do so if Democrats retain the House."

  • She'll Still Remain Speaker  Susan Ferrechio at The San Francisco Examiner speaks with an optimistic top Democratic aide who tells the reporter: "The speaker’s focus is on Democrats and retaining majority, which we will. And she’ll remain as speaker."
  • The Rage Against Pelosi Is Similar to What Plagued Hillary observes Jamie Elizabeth Stiehm at U.S. News and World Report. The subtext of the attacks on her is this: "Ladies and gentlemen, this San Francisco liberal is running the country's business. (That's putting it politely.) She'll take us off the deep end. Strangely, the Republican campaign strategy and rhetoric is not as personal against President Barack Obama himself. To be sure, he takes lots of hits every day out there. But there's something about Pelosi that some love to hate."
  • More than a Dozen House Dems Want Her Gone notes Jon Ward at The Daily Caller. "The vanguard of outright Pelosi opponents includes Jim Marshall of Georgia, who has even run TV ads against the Speaker, Gene Taylor of Mississippi, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, and Bobby Bright of Alabama." The sentiment comes at a "grim" time for Democrats as "The number of seats in play is somewhere in the 90s, with all but a handful of those being Democrat-held seats."
  • Her Image Has Gone From 'Bad to Worse' The latest Gallup poll concludes "independents, in particular, growing more critical of her. Her resulting 2-to-1 negative to positive image presents a challenge for congressional Democrats as they try to convince voters to send them back to Washington for another term. While President Obama may be of some benefit on the campaign trail in terms of firing up the Democratic base to turn out, Pelosi's subdued favorability among Democrats and highly negative image among independents suggest she is a far riskier person for Democratic candidates to be associated with."
  • There Is a Silver Lining argues Tom Kavanagh at Politics Daily, who parses the Gallup poll's numbers. "The current House speaker isn't as bad off as then-Speaker Newt Gingrich was at his lowest point. In April 1997, just 24 percent of Americans viewed Gingrich favorably and 62 percent unfavorably."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.