WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- As campaigning for the U.S. midterm elections picks up, more Democratic candidates are distancing themselves from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, observers said.
Democrats from several states, including Texas, Ohio and North Carolina, have been running from Pelosi in campaigning since primary elections ended last week, The Washington Post said.
Candidates putting air between themselves and the House leadership isn't new for Democrats, but the number of incumbents and the volume of their criticism of the leadership is higher this year, insiders said.
Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, trying to win an 11th term, is on the Republicans' hit list and won't commit to supporting Pelosi. Edwards is rated by independent political analysts as one of the 10 Democrats considered most vulnerable.
"I've made no commitments for speaker. Until we see the outcome of this election, I don't even know who will be running for speaker," Edwards told the Post.
Republicans have redoubled their anti-Pelosi efforts, making her a key figure in their campaign this fall. By some Democratic estimates, the GOP and its allies will spend more than $20 million on anti-Pelosi ads through Election Day .
Pelosi told the Post criticism from both sides of the aisle comes with the territory.
"To tell you the honest truth, I don't really even have the time to pay attention to what they are saying about me," she said. "We like the contest. So up the ante if you wish; we're going to be victorious come November."