Election year consequences

The Nov. 6 election will have a big impact on congressional leadership races in the lame-duck session.

Great speculation has focused on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has predicted that Democrats are more likely than not to win back the lower chamber.

We and most other observers don’t buy it. Independent political handicappers expect the Dems to pick up seats, but not the 25 they need to grab the gavel from Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE (R-Ohio).

Despite a tumultuous Congress, BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE and his lieutenants, Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorTrump nominates two new DOD officials Brat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has 'significant' changes Overnight Energy: Flint lawmaker pushes EPA for new lead rule MORE (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), will probably be in their same spots next year. The only way that could change is if Pelosi’s prediction proves true.

Pelosi’s deputies, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) and Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraBecerra: California under 'no obligation' to uphold Trump's unconstitutional order Becerra fires back: 'We're not in the business of deportation' Sunday shows preview: Trump stares down 100-day mark MORE (D-

Calif.), are not going anywhere.

But there are questions about other House Democrats and whether they will mount leadership bids. This group includes Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Rep. John Larson (Conn.), who is term-limited as caucus chairman.

Meanwhile, the political futures of the chairmen of the House campaign committees, Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), will likely hinge on the election results.

The two party leaders in the upper chamber, Sens. Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again MORE (R-Ky.), are expected to stay at the head of their caucuses. But which one will be majority leader?

Should the GOP seize control of the Senate, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John CornynJohn CornynSenate's No. 2 Republican: Border tax 'probably dead' McConnell: Senate will pass short-term funding bill to avoid shutdown The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Texas) would be a heavy favorite to replace retiring Senate GOP Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.). And even if Republicans fall short, Cornyn would still stand a good shot at the No. 2-ranking post. No other Republican has thrown his or her hat into the ring for the whip contest, although Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneWant to grow the economy? Make student loan repayment assistance tax-free. Net neutrality fight descends into trench warfare Hopes fade for using tax reform on infrastructure MORE (S.D.), one of McConnell’s lieutenants, has not ruled out a bid.

Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinLawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Democrats exploring lawsuit against Trump Senators warn of 'dangerous' cuts to International Affairs Budget MORE (D-Ill.), who is up for reelection, has been coy about whether he will seek reelection in 2014. He told The Hill last month that he’s “planning on” running, but added, “I haven’t made up my mind yet.”

Should Durbin not seek a fourth term, Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerReagan's 'voodoo economics' are precisely what America needs When political opportunity knocked, Jason Chaffetz never failed to cash in Yes, blame Obama for the sorry state of the Democratic Party MORE (D-N.Y.) would be seen as Reid’s clear successor.

The landscape for leadership contests can change rapidly, especially in the hours and days after the election.