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Nancy Pelosi sounds a note of optimism

In an appearance Tuesday on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says voter turnout shows Democrats are 'on pace to maintain the majority.'

November 02, 2010|By Jordan Steffen and Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen pose at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, DC.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Representative Chris… (Chip Somodevilla / Getty…)

Reporting from Washington — Nancy Pelosi, whose four-year run as speaker of the House of Representatives could be in its final months, offered an optimistic prediction about the outcome of Tuesday's election during a brief photo opportunity on Capitol Hill.

"With the early returns and the overwhelming number if Democrats who are coming out, we're on pace to maintain the majority," she said.

Pelosi, the first woman and first Californian to lead the House, appeared with Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Democrat charged with heading the party's campaign effort, at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's offices just south of the U.S. Capitol.

After an exhaustive campaign in which she was often a target of Republican attacks, Pelosi said the election "will not be decided by the pundits." Van Hollen struck a similar note.

"As we speak, millions of voters across the country are proving the Washington pundits absolutely wrong," Van Hollen said. "We see high levels of energy on the Democratic side. We saw this early on in the early vote. Now, you're seeing strong turnout by Democrats across the country."

Analysts generally predict that Republicans will gain enough seats to reclaim the majority after a four-year absence. The Senate is considered too close to call.

But Democrats have circulated a series of reports of heavy turnout across the country, including some in party strongholds. The Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America, President Obama's former campaign committee, have said their turnout efforts would help preserve the House.

Pelosi also offered another promising anecdote – asking reporters if they'd seen her hometown Giants clinch the World Series title Monday night, the team's first since moving to San Francisco, which Pelosi represents.

"Victory is in the air," she said in an earlier statement from her office.

mmemoli@tribune.com

twitter.com/mikememoli

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