House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks about the GOP health care bill during a press conference on Capitol Hill, June 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democrats have expressed growing frustration with the leadership of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ahead of the 2018 election and in the wake of special-election defeats. Last week, Pelosi responded to critics in a press conference that she thought she was "worth the trouble," but some in her party think that big wins for the midterm require a new face in the party's leadership position.

"You'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi," Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tx.), who supported Pelosi in her reelection for leadership in December, told Politico on June 21 after the disappointing loss by Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in Georgia's first district.

READ: Nancy Pelosi Should Resign, Frustrated Democrats Say

Pelosi's west coast big-money fundraising machine opened Ossoff candidacy during the special election campaign to attacks by the right, which tied the Georgia candidate to Pelosi's "San Francisco liberalism." Democrats looking forward to the 2018 election see this association Pelosi as a hurdle that's not going to go away, despite the money raised.

"Her time has come and gone," said Rep. Kathleen Rich (D-Ny.) on MSNBC on June 22. "She is a great fundraiser, but if the money we’re raising through her leadership is not helping us win elections, then we have to have this conversation now."

Rice noted that conservatives have attacked Pelosi's leadership since she's lead the party, and while those attacks weren't fair to the party's leader, they have worked at helping Republicans take hold of majorities in both Congress and the Senate and culminated in Trump winning the 2016 election.

"The Republican playbook for the past four election cycles has been very focused, very clear: It’s been an attack on our leader," Ms. Rice said. "Is it fair? No. Are the attacks accurate? No. But guess what? They work. They’re winning, and we’re losing."

READ: Trump Won The Popular Vote, He Tells Nancy Pelosi

In November, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who has long been considered a rising star in the party, mounted a failed effort to unseat Pelosi. Ryan is 43 years old and a white male, a demographic that helped boost Trump into the White House.

It also came on the tails of embarrassing scandals surrounding the leaking of emails by the Democratic National Committee that showed a preference for Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the bitter primary season. After Pelosi agreed to give more leadership opportunities to junior members who were calling for new leadership, she defeated Ryan by a vote of 134-63 on Nov. 30.

Following Ossoff's loss, Ryan said that the party's brand had become "toxic" because voters in some parts of the country see Democrats as "not being able to connect with the issues they care about."

"Our brand is worse than Trump," he said on June 21, according to the New York Times.