There are a whopping nine Democrats running in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional district to replace liberal stalwart Carol Shea-Porter. How many are publicly supporting Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker?
Last week, Rep. Shea-Porter’s chief of staff and longtime campaign aide Naomi Andrews became the ninth Democrat to join the primary battle, adding to an already crowded field that includes Levi Sanders–son of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Local restaurant owner Chris Pappas is viewed as the establishment pick. Former Obama official Maura Sullivan is seen as his progressive challenger. And the rest of the field represents the broad spectrum of New Hampshire Democrats.
But they all have one thing in common: None of them say they’ll vote to make Nancy Pelosi House Speaker.
Jeanie Forrester, head of the NH GOP, raised this issue last week in a statement: “The liberals running for Congress in the 1st District need to come clean as to whether or not they support her. Do Maura Sullivan and Chris Pappas support her for Speaker?” Forrester asked.
Longtime political reporter John DiStaso of WMUR followed up by contacting every candidate and asking if they would support Pelosi as speaker. As of Monday, May 7th the count was:
- Three “nos”
- Four “non-commitals”
- Two “declined to responds.”
Once again, this is in a New Hampshire house seat currently represented by solidly-liberal Rep. Shea-Porter. And yet her chief of staff was one of the Democrats (along with front-runners Pappas and Sullivan, plus liberal Levi Sanders) who declined to commit either way.
This reflects what The Atlantic calls in their April issue “The Pelosi Problem.” They report:
According to HuffPost’s poll aggregator, Americans disapprove of both Ryan and Pelosi by 20 percentage points. But Ryan’s unpopularity tracks his party’s, which Americans disapprove of by 23 points—whereas Pelosi’s disapproval margin is almost twice that of the Democratic Party as a whole.
But why ‘dis’ Pelosi in a Democratic primary? Perhaps it’s because, as Atlantic notes, “a September CNN poll found that Democrats were only 11 points more likely to view Pelosi favorably than unfavorably.”
Could it be that Democrats aren’t quite as confident of a #BlueWave–even in purple New Hampshire–as they claim?