Pelosi: 'I fully expect to be speaker of the House five weeks from now'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she still expects to have her job in five weeks after voters head to the polls.

Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, whose job as speaker makes her third in line to the presidency, said she would retain that position.

“I fully expect to be speaker of the House five weeks from now,” Pelosi said at a NBC/Universal women's forum in Manhattan, as reported by the New York Times.

“I have great confidence in my candidates,” she said, “and they’re doing just fine in their districts.”

Pelosi's been confident to date about her party's fortunes going into an election cycle in which her party is expected to fare poorly. House Democrats in particular are in a tough position, fighting to stave off the kinds of losses that would hand control of the House to Republicans.

The GOP needs 39 seats to take back the House, and projection services show their candidates within striking distance of doing so.

Pelosi's words are also a confident prediction about the state of her own power in the House. Republicans have long criticized her since she became speaker in January of 2007, but some Democrats have also begun distancing themselves from the reliably liberal Pelosi.

Some centrists facing tough reelection challenges have refused to commit to vote for Pelosi for speaker, and other members, like Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), have run advertisements distancing themselves from the speaker.

Republicans seem to suggest some opportunity from the internal Democratic discord, as well. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), the chief deputy whip for Republicans in the House, suggested over the summer that if Republicans come close to winning the majority but ultimately fall short, the GOP could poach dissatisfied Democrats to effectively rule the House.