Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House, said Tuesday she was confident that voters would send two more women from Minnesota to Washington during a forum at the University of Minnesota.
Pelosi, the 15-term Democrat from California, arrived in Minnesota the day before, headlining a fundraiser for congressional candidates Angie Craig and state Sen. Terri Bonoff. The candidates are locked in two of the most closely watched and expensive congressional races in the country.
Pelosi said she's hoping for more female lawmakers in Congress.
"I feel very certain they'll be there," she said during a roughly 90 minute forum on the election, immigration reform and political gridlock.
Pelosi's visit to Minnesota comes amid a particularly turbulent stretch of the election. The fallout from a tape of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump bragging about kissing and groping women has breathed new life into efforts by Democrats nationally to regain control of the House.
With a large Republican majority in the House, Democrats' chances of regaining the lower congressional chamber seemed less likely than regaining control of the Senate, where the GOP majority is seen as more vulnerable. Trump's bitter rift with congressional Republicans who have rescinded their support less than 30 days before the general election is threatening to upend races across the country.
"I feel very confident that if the election were held today, we could win it all," Pelosi said.
Pelosi said she views Trump as an anomaly among other Republicans, adding that the celebrity business mogul had momentarily overthrown the traditional GOP leadership.
She predicted that some GOP lawmakers could work with Hillary Clinton if she is elected president, which Pelosi said she expects will happen.
"I believe the Republican Party establishment or whatever you want to call that, will take back their party. It's the Grand Old Party. The Republican Party is a great party in our country. They make great contributions to our country's success and it has been hijacked," she said.
Pelosi demurred when asked whether Craig and Bonoff should vote for her should she run for House speaker, a role she has previously held. "Let them win their elections first," she said.
Republican groups have worked to tie Democratic candidates to Pelosi, a politically divisive figure who played a key role in the passage of President Obama's health care law. During the forum, she defended the health care law, saying that it was a massive achievement that has ensured millions of Americans have health insurance coverage.