Democratic Leader Nydia Velazquez: Don’t count your chickens

Democratic Leader Nydia Velazquez: Don’t count your chickens

Nancy Pelosi dismisses polls, insists Democrats are ‘in great shape’ for midterms

Rep. Nydia Velazquez, the former Democratic congressional leader who served in Congress from 1995 to 2011 and currently serves as California’s first female mayor, had a message for the party’s presidential contenders as her party prepares to campaign for congressional and legislative candidates in 2018: Don’t count your chickens.

“Don’t panic,” said Velazquez, a former member of the House of Representatives who has been on Capitol Hill for more than a quarter-century, referring to several surveys that show Democrats could lose House seats in 2018, but she maintained that it was a good year for Democrats and said their party “isn’t finished” as a majority in the House for several more years.

The stakes are high for Democrats, who have held the House in Democratic control since the midterm elections in 2010 and are on track to keep it for the next two election cycles, but they need to win the remaining seats they need for a majority in order to secure passage of their agenda. While Trump had a net overall win in the 2016 presidential election, he lost the Senate and the House.

Democrats, at this point, need to flip 23 Republican-held House districts in order to take the majority in the House, which would include flipping the 23 districts currently held by Republicans. Four House districts currently held by Democrats — in Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — will be within those districts.

“Do you think you’re going to be able to win those 23 seats in 2018?” asked Velazquez. “Don’t get this caught up in the momentum of winning this election in November.”

She said Democrats are making progress in the House and she reiterated that the party is “not in the position we’re in now,” because Republicans �

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