Here's a huge reason Nancy Pelosi maintains her iron grip on House Democrats, even after another bruising - and in many party circles embarrassing - election loss: Her ability to raise lots and lots of money.
Democratic strategist Lachlan McIntosh tells the Times, "They can't ignore how very unpopular their leadership is with many voters". Well, I am a master legislator. "My leadership is recognized by many around the country".
"I think there is a massive amount of demoralization on the part of the American people with the Democratic Party, with the Republican Party", he said, referring to low wages and college affordability. "You've got to have a charismatic candidate", she said, implying Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff did not fulfill those roles. Republican Ralph Norman won in SC, defeating Democrat Archie Parnell.
All the races were on GOP-friendly terrain. They must pick up 24 seats to do so.
A dozen or so House Democrats met Friday in the office of New York Democrat Kathleen Rice to discuss their options.
"I think that she's a tremendous leader of our caucus, with the kind of strategic talent and experience that we really need to succeed in the minority and particularly when we don't control the House or Senate", said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. "It's time for a new generation of leadership in the party".
"Let me just say, I reject the idea that Leader Pelosi is in any way a narrowly defined leader", the Houston Democrat said, unprompted.
The renegade Democrats resurfaced again this week, after Tuesday's loss by Ossoff in a Georgia special election that received intense national coverage.
The apparent effectiveness of such attacks alarmed some fellow Democrats, and they show no signs of letting up. Although he qualified his comments by admitting that off-year elections might not be the best indicators of regularly scheduled elections, Gergen said that the Republican victories should be a "wake-up call" for those wanting to oust Donald Trump in 2020.
"The issue I think strategically is that Trump energizes their base and Leader Pelosi energizes their base", said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who was unsuccessful a year ago in trying to unseat Pelosi. "And usually they go after the most effective leaders, because they want to take us, diminish the opportunity that we have".
Republicans know this, and candidates such as Karen Handel have been quite successful at winning races by constantly running ads linking their opponents to Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi is the leader of the House Democrats.
Rice points to Pelosi as the reason that the Democrats keep losing.
Another Democrat who has been pushing for leadership changes, Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas, told CNN the group didn't make any decisions at Thursday's meeting, but those who participated believe there is growing unrest among House Democrats about the direction of the current leadership team.
Gergen noted that any sitting president would do so, especially presidents that are taking hits to their policies and administration like Trump has, and the election victories should "impress the voters with the fact that he withstood assaults on four different states and Republicans won all four".
But Pelosi continues to command great loyalty from many in the House, and she insisted her position was not in jeopardy.
She added: "That is why I'm able to attract the (financial) support that I do, which is essential to our elections, sad to say". "We don't agonize. We organize".