This means that, at best for Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a small majority. That could produce echoes of 2016 as some Democrats questioned Pelosi’s leadership and delayed leadership elections.
It also means the House Democratic Caucus will be more liberal as the party lost seats held by moderates like Peterson and Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Okla.
The fact that Democrats failed to expand their majority means there could be recriminations for Pelosi and other Democratic leaders.
Republicans, meanwhile, would have needed a net gain of 17 seats to win back the majority in the House. While they have fallen short of the goal, the NRCC is projecting their numbers could reach between 208-212, depending on the results of the final races being counted.
“Last night and this morning’s results should serve as a wake-up call that the prognosticators have no clue what they are talking about,” said Michael McAdams, spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC). “Chairman [Tom] Emmer kept the NRCC laser-focused on our game plan and our massive success reflects that reality.”
In terms of legislation and deals, such a narrow Democratic majority means Pelosi now can’t hold out for a large coronavirus package, as she had been pushing for pre-election. She will now face pressure from moderates on both sides to make a smaller deal, and soon.