Politics & Policy

Pelosi: Biden Has a ‘Bigger Mandate Than John F. Kennedy’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., July 29, 2020. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

House speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed on Friday that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will enter the White House with a “bigger mandate than John F. Kennedy,” though a number of votes have yet to be counted in key states.

“With Joe Biden having the tremendous mandate that he has and that pretty soon the hyphen will be gone from ‘vice president’ to ‘president-elect Joe Biden,’ it’s a happy day for our country,” she said in a press conference. 

As of Friday morning, with a number of votes still to be counted, Biden led President Trump in the popular vote, according to the Associated Press, 73,650,535 to 69,723,307, or 50.5 percent to 47.8 percent. 

Biden has small leads in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Nevada with votes still being counted in each state. 

The Democrat, with 264 electoral votes, as projected by the AP, stands just six electoral votes away from reaching the 270 he would need in order to declare victory.

In 1960, Kennedy was elected president in one of the closest elections in U.S. history, by a margin of 118,550 votes over Republican Richard Nixon. He won the electoral vote 303 to 219.

However, Biden by no means swept the election as many Democrats had hoped, and as a number of polls had predicted. With races still to be called, and two Georgia Senate races likely headed to runoff elections in January, it looks as though Republicans are poised to maintain control of the Senate, and while Democrats are likely to keep control of the House, they did not see a repeat of the 2018 “blue wave” that they were hoping for — hardly an indication that the American people had given a “mandate” to either party.

Pelosi said of her party’s over a half-dozen House losses, “we did not win every battle in the House, but we did win the war.”

She added that districts where Trump won faced a “steeper climb” in a presidential election year than during the midterms. 

The California Democrat’s comments come one day after moderate members of her party criticized her in a joint phone call as some projections give Republicans about 210 House seats, when Democrats had hoped to pick up three to 15 seats for themselves.

Representative Abigail Spanberger (D., Va.), a moderate and former intelligence officer in the CIA, angrily said Democrats “have to commit to not saying the words ‘defund the police’ ever again,” during the call, saying that progressive positions had harmed the party in the election, according to ABC.

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