Long knives come out for Pelosi as Democrat losing streak grows

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Kay Kirkpatrick, a Republican state senator who represents the area, said that while Republicans were divided on Trump, they had mostly united behind Handel. But, to quote Taylor Swift, they're not out of the woods yet.

"If you were talking about a company that was posting losing numbers, if you were talking about any sports team that was losing time and time again, changes would be made, right?"

Despite the string of losses in special elections, some Democrats said there were reasons to be encouraged.

Back in 2001 Hoyer and Pelosi faced each other for the top leadership position inside the Democratic caucus, but have largely worked collaboratively in the top two slots for years. And yet, they came close. In all four states, Democrats bolstered their historical performance in districts they lost by double-digit margins a year ago.

On Election Day it rained a lot more in the Democratic parts of the district.

The 30 year-old first time candidate was hoping to "Flip The 6th", a district seat that has been in the Republican Party's control since 1979. House Speaker Paul Ryan congratulated her on a "hard-earned and well-deserved victory", saying in a statement released Tuesday, "Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race and Karen would not be defeated".

A special election run-off for a suburban Atlanta seat in Congress looked set for a tight finish on Tuesday, with polls showing a very narrow lead for the Democratic candidate seeking to take a district held by Republicans since the 1970s.

In April, Ron Estes (R) defeated Jim Thompson (D) in a special election to fill Kansas' fourth congressional district, which was vacated by Mike Pompeo, who now serves as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

During an appearance on CNN's "Erin Burnett Outfront", David Gergen, who advised former Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, admitted that off-year elections like this may not be the best predictor of what could happen in the 2018 midterms.

Nonetheless, Republicans shouldn't get too cocky. The "cloud" of a Russian Federation investigation and potential obstruction of justice investigation into President Trump could get a whole lot darker - or evaporate. And the issues they should zero in on are: jobs, health care and education.

"The environment later means much more than environment now", said Kyle Kondik, an elections expert at the University of Virginia.

Perez says he was "disappointed" by that election, but suggested it was to be expected.

President Donald Trump claimed hard-fought congressional victories Wednesday, intensifying an already hard day of questions for Capitol Hill Democrats.