"Look, I think the Democratic Party has to come to terms with the fact that what we're doing isn't working", Moulton said. Quist lost by a little more than 5 points to Republican Greg Gianforte, 50 percent to 44.4 percent.
Republicans have some breathing room after Karen Handel won a nationally watched congressional election in Georgia to avoid a major upset ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
And after she predicted incorrectly that Democrats were poised to take back the House past year, some of Pelosi's colleagues feel that this time around, she needs to deliver.
We made the decision to play in this race for one after passing on a few other specials. Why? Despite the loss, we have a lot to be proud of. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), the chair of the DCCC, wrote in the memo.
The win in Georgia also could strengthen the political will of Republicans in Congress evaluating their next steps on what polls show is a deeply unpopular replacement of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law and on a tax package.
Luján acknowledged that reclaiming a majority in the House would be an incredibly tough fight, but he argued that "the national environment and historical trends are key indicators as well, and there's no doubt that the momentum is on our side".
But even with that pedigree, Trump barely edged Democrat Hillary Clinton in November, giving Ossoff his opening once Price was confirmed.
In South Carolina, an attorney in Charleston who is a Democratic political newcomer, Joe Cunningham, announced on Wednesday that he would seek the House seat now held by Republican Mark Sanford, but said that if elected he would not back Pelosi as the Democratic leader. "All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0", he tweeted. At least two other special elections are pending in Alabama and Utah.
There are no moral victories in politics.
Taking nothing away from the campaign - I knew a lot of really smart people who did good work, and for the good of the cause, I think the party had to make some kind of an effort there (30 million was well beyond the point of diminishing returns), the basic matchup was uphill.
It's about all they can do.
That's one reason so much of what you see from the social justice warrior crowd and the Bernie Sanders/Liz Warren Axis amounts to an attempt to crush dissent and silence those with whom they disagree, rather than to actually win arguments, and it also perfectly sums up Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
Pelosi's most logical challenger would be Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., 55, the House Democratic Caucus chairman.
But prescriptions for how the Democrats should move forward varied.
And GOP leaders and strategists will feel reassured that the party isn't tethered entirely to Trump's fortunes and, when it mobilizes its resources, can transcend his failings and all the melodrama he stirs up. "God, no. But I believe he has the country's best interests at heart", said Jessica Podalsky, who voted for Handel on Tuesday morning. And at what point will Trump be held accountable for a presidency that, so far, has been clumsier and more chaotic than even many of his detractors warned that it would be?
But the electoral map still favors Republicans for now, and that's not a bad thing for Trump.
The Democratic Party's leaders seem to have believed they could improve on her margins in a place like the Georgia Sixth District while being unreasonably pessimistic about the party's chances in situations like the SC and Kansas races.
For Republicans, it's a big win in a race that just last week many thought was slipping out of the GOP's grasp. Veteran GOP ad-maker Brad Todd says that's because the San Francisco congresswoman is the personification of the liberal values they can't stomach.
"It was just not clear what Jon Ossoff stood for", he told TPM.
"What was the Democratic message?" he asked. "Time to stop rehashing 2016 and talk about the future".
For the national Democratic Party, the debate continues about developing a message that goes beyond attacking Trump, or assuming dissatisfaction with the president will be enough.
Clearly, anti-Trump energy alone isn't enough to beat Republicans not named Trump.
It's not just Democratic operatives that are projecting a certain optimism about the party's chances in 2018 after Ossoff's loss, however.
Toward the end of the race, even Democrat activists had to admit that Ossoff had several significant problems as a candidate.
By exacerbating the hype surrounding the Georgia special election, Democrats did themselves a great disservice.
It's instructive to look at what happened Tuesday in neighboring SC, in a special election to fill the seat of Mick Mulvaney, the Trump administration's budget chief.