The midterm surprise has frozen the House Dems’ leadership structure

House Democrats could be waiting for hours or even days to see the results of Tuesday’s close midterm election. They may have to wait longer for information about their future leadership.

Republicans still have the chance to win the House. However, the victory is smaller than either party expected. A final call will also take longer than expected. The Democrats’ closely-watched leadership contests are now in limbo as none of their ambitious members who want to be at the top of the leadership ranks are expected make any moves before it is officially decided by the majority.

The lack of any hint from Speaker Nancy Pelosi about her next steps is causing the leadership dynamics in the House Democrats to freeze. Pelosi told her caucus in a Wednesday morning phone briefing that although she plans to attend the global summit on climate in Egypt, her trip will be short. According to multiple participants, Pelosi arrived Thursday and returned to the U.S. Friday night.

California Democrat Pelosi was cheerful on the call, praising the Democrats’ midterm victory. Pelosi stated in her first post-election comments, “It’s a remarkable achievement what we did together.” “Our candidates were brave.”

Pelosi aside, Democrats still await word from her longtime deputies, House Majority Leader Steny Hopyer (D.Md.). Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, (D-S.C.). They have been together in leadership for almost two decades. Pelosi made it clear to her party caucus that she would not be serving another term as leader of the party, but Hoyer and Clyburn insist they did not make such a promise.

Hoyer stated in a statement that Democrats could retain control of the majority, which would be borderline impossible in reality.

Hoyer stated in a statement that “we don’t know yet who will control Congress in January”, but that it was evident that voters continue to trust Democrats to represent them across America. He won’t announce his plans for the future until the majority votes.

A few more junior members of the caucus have indicated to their colleagues that they will run for the top three positions, if and when they become vacant. Many Democrats consider House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffrey (D.N.Y.), the frontrunner to the No. 1 — likely leader of the minorities — but Rep. Adam Scheib (D.Calif.) is also considering a run.

Rep. Katherine Clark, (D-Mass. Current No. The current No. 4 Democrat is expected to run for the second-ranking post. Rep. Pramila Javapal (D.Wash.) is her potential opponent. Jayapal , a Democrat, had expressed interest in running for the leadership position before a heated intra-caucus feud over a letter that she had written which opened the door to Russian-Ukraine talks.

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D.Calif.), is now the vice chair of the caucus and is expected to run for the No. 3 position.

Clark released a statement regarding Tuesday night’s election results, saying that “while the results are still being counted it is clear that American voter reject Republican extremism” and “affirming Democrats’ commitment toward working people”.

Many top Democrats were optimistic that they would be able to score more upset wins in the hours ahead.

The head of the House Democratic Campaign arm spoke to fellow members on Wednesday’s post-election briefing. This was just minutes after he had conceded his race. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney was the leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He lost to a Republican opponent in a fierce upstate New York contest.

According to one person on the call, Maloney stated to fellow Democrats that the Republicans wanted to declare victory and jump the gun, but at the moment, we don’t know who will hold the majority.”

Tim Persico, the campaign arm’s executive Director, provided a detailed overview to members about the current state of play across the nation, with key races in California and Arizona still uncalled. He predicted that Democrats would win at most 200 seats and stated that there was still a small path to the majority.

The Democrats are likely to retain all but a few of the most vulnerable incumbents, rather than the defeat that even their own party’s operatives predicted. On Wednesday afternoon, the victorious Democratic incumbents in battleground seats like Rep. Matt Cartwright, who represents a red-leaning seat in northeastern Pennsylvania — was declared victorious. But Rep. Tom OHalleran lost his sprawling Arizona seat that had been made more Republican-friendly by redistricting.

One race for leadership may be more successful than others: the bids to succeed Maloney as DCCC head. Tony Cardenas (D.Calif.), and Amibera are expected to join the party’s efforts to regain the majority in 2024.

Nicholas Wu contributed reporting.

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