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The defending majority


The Washington Times says "a new breed of politician has emerged: former Republicans challenging Republican incumbents."  Among them: Virginia Senate nominee Jim Webb and a handful of now-Democratic House candidates who could very well win. 

Roll Call reports that "House Republican leaders are considering postponing the scheduled Nov. 15 leadership contests" if they lose the majority.  "There is no contingency date set, aides said, but Republican Conference rules do dictate that elections must be held by Dec. 20."  

The New York Times notes how Speaker Dennis Hastert has been sidelined from the campaign trail because of the Foley scandal.  "'Sure, it bothers you,' Mr. Hastert said in an interview in his headquarters.  'But I understand, if I've got 15 television trucks sitting outside my house, and I've got a helicopter looking in the window, you probably don't want to bring that into somebody else's district.'" 

The AP adds that Hastert "is expected by many Republicans to step aside as the GOP's leader if Democrats win big in next week's election.  He might be on his way out even if the GOP emerges with a narrow majority.  The No. 2 House Republican, Majority Leader John Boehner … is looking very much like a candidate to fill Hastert's shoes..."