Moderate Democrats say they have long been advising freshmen from conservative districts that breaking with the party is a key to survival — even when it means splitting with a popular president.
“I’ve been trying to tell at least those freshmen who belong to the Blue Dogs, ‘Vote your district, don’t get swept up in what the president wants, don’t get swept up in what leadership wants, and you’ll never have a problem,'” said Sen. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.).
House Democratic leaders tried to soothe concerns among their members on Tuesday, hoping to stave off further defections and retirements from an already skittish caucus.
Taking a swipe at Senate insiders who suggested that Coakley’s campaign hadn’t warned them when things started going south, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Mass.) told reporters: “In the House, we don’t have surprises when it comes to elections. We are fully prepared and have been for a long time.”
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