Why would Pelosi step down?Breaking News
Should Nancy Pelosi step down as House Democratic leader? Some congressional Democrats and political pundits have been calling for that since Jon Ossoff’s narrow defeat in the Georgia special election, coming after several bad electoral cycles for House Democrats. Some claim that congressional leaders typically step aside when their party does poorly in national elections.
But that’s not so.
To check, we looked at patterns of leadership change in Congress since the early 20th century. Party leaders typically do not step down after poor electoral showings. Of course, some have. For instance, former speaker Dennis Hastert resigned when Republicans lost control of the House in 2006. And after Democrats lost their Senate majority in 2014, Harry Reid decided to step away. Poor election results contributed to the end of Newt Gingrich’s, Charles Halleck’s, and Joe Martin’s tenures as GOP House leader in 1998, 1965, and 1959, respectively.
But still more leaders stayed on after electoral losses.
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