File Photo: US speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi. AFP
"We still think we have a chance to win this," she told CNN talk show State of the Union. Nodding to the Senate result, Pelosi added, "This is such a cause for celebration."
Republicans, reeling from their Senate setback after incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto's projected win in her Nevada race confirmed Democrats will retain control of the chamber, still have an easier path to victory in the House of Representatives, with some 20 of the 435 seats still unresolved.
But Democratic candidates have narrowed the gap. And if Republicans do win, it will be by a far narrower margin than had been widely predicted -- possibly as slim as a single vote.
"Who would have thought two months ago that this 'red wave' would turn into a little tiny trickle," Pelosi asked with a smile.
Estimates by CNN and ABC say Republicans have so far won 211 seats of the 218 needed for a majority.
"There's so many votes still out," Pelosi said. But she added, "I think you see a path to the future that is much brighter than what was predicted."
Control of the House would have a huge impact on the political tenor and substantive prospects for legislative action in the coming two years of Joe Biden's presidency.
Republicans, if they win there, have floated plans for multiple investigations into the Biden administration, including the business dealings of the president's son Hunter Biden, the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The 82-year-old Pelosi, the first woman to serve as speaker, was asked on CNN whether she would seek to remain in that position should Democrats eke out a House win.
"My decision will again be rooted in the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus," she said. "But none of it will be very much considered until we see what the outcome of all of this is."