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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.

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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 BoehnerBoehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt Boehner: 'Thank God' I wasn't in the middle of election Ryan delays committee assignments until 2017 MORE (R-Ohio).

Despite a tumultuous Congress, BoehnerJohn BoehnerBoehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt Boehner: 'Thank God' I wasn't in the middle of election Ryan delays committee assignments until 2017 MORE and his lieutenants, Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorTrump allies warn: No compromise on immigration Chamber of Commerce overhauls lobbying operation Laura Ingraham under consideration for White House press secretary 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 ready to fight Trump administration House Dems to perform election autopsy Sanders vs. Trump: The battle of the bully pulpit 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 ReidFCC chairman willing to resign to get colleague confirmed McConnell tees up spending bill as shutdown looms Senate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown MORE (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell tees up spending bill as shutdown looms Trump really can't do much to reduce tensions with Putin's Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 CornynMnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators House approves funding bill, but fate in Senate unclear Senate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown 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 ThuneFCC chairman willing to resign to get colleague confirmed Overnight Tech: AT&T, Time Warner CEOs defend merger before Congress | More tech execs join Trump team | Republican details path to undoing net neutrality Overnight Tech: Big win for Samsung over Apple | Trump to sit down with tech leaders | Trump claims credit for B investment deal MORE (S.D.), one of McConnell’s lieutenants, has not ruled out a bid.

Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenators to Trump: Get tough on Russia over Ukraine Miner fight stalls as shutdown looms Reid defends relationship with McConnell in farewell speech 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 SchumerSenate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown Dems see ’18 upside in ObamaCare repeal Confirm Gary Richard Brown for the Eastern District of New York 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.