US Democrats look to future after dispiriting loss in Georgia election

"I feel very confident in the support that I have in my caucus", she said.

Back in 2001 Hoyer and Pelosi faced each other for the top leadership position inside the Democratic caucus, but have largely worked collaboratively in the top two slots for years.

Mrs. Pelosi has been her party's leader since 2003, overseeing losses in 2004, big gains in 2006 and 2008, then watching as her party slipped into its smallest minority in almost a century.

Georgia's 6th Congressional District was the fourth district that the Democrats failed to turn blue, losing in Kansas, Montana and, on Tuesday, South Carolina. The race was seen as a tossup, but Republican Karen Handel ultimately pulled out a win by less than 4 points.

"And what they hoped by making it a referendum on Trump was by saying Trump is bad, Trump is terrible, that would be enough to win and they didn't", said Schultz. "They vote based on ideas that the candidate has, and we have to speak more to the everyday working class people who look to us for leadership".

"I think I'm worth the trouble, quite frankly", she concluded.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep Seth Moulton echoed Rice's complaints, saying 'It's clear that, I think, across the board in the Democratic Party we need new leadership.

Nancy Pelosi insists she isn't going anywhere. "That would be very bad for the Republican Party - and please let Cryin' (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck (Schumer) stay!"

She said the Democrats "gave them a run for their money in all of them".

Pelosi beat back a leadership challenge late past year from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), with two-thirds of her caucus supporting her.

The Twitter-verse isn't generally a friendly place, but the barrage of tweets following Republican Karen Handel's Tuesday victory in the much-watched Georgia congressional race were especially untoward - with much of the heat directed at conservatives.

"I'm sure that Nancy Pelosi believes that she is the one that can lead this party".

Despite spending more than US$30 million, Mr Ossoff lost the district by a wider margin than Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who represents a district near Youngstown, challenged Pelosi for the minority leader post previous year but lost.

And for some, they point to questions about how their leaders, and Pelosi in particular, have fallen short in crafting an economic message that can counter Trump and yield election victories.

Luján also reiterated his memo from Wednesday declaring that the House is in play in 2018, something he hadn't yet said this year and never said in the 2016 election cycle.

  • Larry Hoffman