Pelosi “very confident” Democrats’ midterm chances as race enters home stretch

Washington — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday expressed optimism that Democrats will retain control of the House in November, even as momentum is building behind Republican candidates in the final weeks of the campaign.

“For a year and a half, the media has been saying, ‘Oh, it goes, the president’s party always loses in the off-year. And now we’re down to the stretch. And we are down in a very close race. And we feel very confident,” Pelosi said in an interview with “Face the Nation.” “I’ve been to more than 20 states in the past month since Congress was adjourned. And I see very clearly that we own the ground.”

While the Democrats had the Republican lead in the fight for a majority in the House, the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker House estimates found the GOP’s lead has stabilized at 224 seats, compared to the Democrats’ 211.

Driving the change for Republicans are voters’ views of the economy, which has been battered by high consumer prices, a volatile stock market and gas prices that remain high despite President Biden’s efforts to bring them down.

While the Democrats initially led the Republicans because of voters motivated by abortion rights, Roe v. Wade — and Democratic candidates have warned about the use of abortion if Republicans win — Pelosi said this election cycle is about the economy.

“Elections are about the future. They are about the economy. Everyone knows this,” she said. “Nobody said, ‘We’re having abortions instead of the economy,’ but it’s about both. And I can tell you this issue is very, very provocative.”

The speaker also defended comprehensive legislative packages passed with Biden’s support, including a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan and a $750 billion health care, tax and climate package.

“The point is, when you reduce unemployment, it’s inflation. It’s a fact,” she said. “When I was a new member of Congress, I was told that unemployment was dangerously low in our hearings on inflation and unemployment. Unemployment is dangerously short for inflation. But the fact is that this is America’s working families. It’s about helping them meet their needs, and that was what they needed.”

Pelosi, a Democrat, continued, “We are proud of what we have done. We are proud of the President. For helping America’s working families reduce their costs, and in doing so to reduce the deficit.” “

Pelosi, who is on the campaign trail to help Democrats on the ballot, noted that several races are close in this election cycle and warned a Republican-controlled House that it threatens eligibility programs.

“Republicans have said that if they win, they want to subject Medicare, Social Security, health blackmail to lift debt limits. They have said they would like to review Medicare and Social Security every five years, They have said they would like to make it a discretionary spend that Congress can decide to do or not to do, rather than mandatory,” she said. “So Social Security and Medicare are on the line, a woman’s right to choose is on the line, the planet is on the line, issues that are related to drugs.”

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