05/25/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Flip Side Of Dem Victories: A Widening Ideological Divide

While much of the Congressional political focus has been on the declining fortunes and numbers of House Republicans, House Democrats have their own problem: They are winning too many elections.

By prevailing in conservative districts where they ordinarily would not have a chance, Democrats are widening the ideological divide in their own ranks and complicating their ability to find internal consensus. It is a nice problem to have, but it is one that can bedevil party leaders. As their numbers expand, they have to juggle the competing interests of Travis Childers, the newly elected pro-gun, anti-abortion, anti-tax representative from northern Mississippi and someone like, say, Nancy Pelosi, a pro-gun control, liberal abortion-rights advocate from San Francisco who sees government as a solution.

Ms. Pelosi, who as speaker will have the job of managing these increasingly divergent philosophies, said it was to the advantage of the party and the nation to mesh such differing views.

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