House Democrats retained their majority but lost about a half-dozen seats in the process, Politico reports.
Despite polls predicting Democratic pickups, the party dropped several key seats it wrestled from Republicans in the 2018 midterms.
Abby Finkenauer in Iowa, Donna Shalala in Miami, and others took losses on Tuesday.
There are still dozens of races that remain uncalled, meaning the losses could mount further.
Polls had projected that Democrats would pick up 10 or more seats but whiffed on the House races just as they did on the presidential and Senate races.
Hours earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House campaign chief Cheri Bustos were bragging about the opportunity to expand their midterm gains.
Dems blame pollsters:
“I think there’s still a lot of uncertainty. I would say the high expectations that a number of pollsters and pundits created obviously have not been met,” Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly told Politico. “We’ll have a Democratic majority in the House, and it remains to be seen how big that will be.”
“It’s a dumpster fire,” added another unnamed lawmaker.
“This is what I’ve been saying over and over and over. Urban areas are important, but you still gotta look at the rural areas,” warned Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar. “If we don't change the strategy, it’s going to be the same in 2022.”
No challenge to Pelosi:
Politico interviewed about a dozen Democrats but none suggested that Pelosi should face a challenge for her speakership.
“But several of them privately speculated that what was just days ago expected to be a glide path to the speakership will be more difficult as Democrats lose seats in the House,” the outlet added.
Others blamed the Democratic Campaign Committee, which focused too heavily on seats where the party stood little chance.
“Several Democrats said the party operation was not focused on a cohesive, proactive message that went beyond simply opposing Trump,” Politico reported.