In a smaller majority, Pelosi will be even more surrounded by loyalists, because most of the losers on the Democratic side of the ballot would likely be moderates and conservatives who have been the least reliable Pelosi supporters.

In interviews with more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers, none suggested Pelosi should be replaced, and nobody predicted a serious challenge to Pelosi’s authority, provided Democrats hold onto power…

Republicans who have demonized Pelosi may actually be cementing her hold on power within the Democratic Caucus. With GOP leaders openly predicting that Republicans will seize control of the House, any failure to do so will be portrayed by Democrats as a triumph for Pelosi and solidify her reputation as a survivor in a tough political environment.

“The bar is taking over the House. They’ve been clear about it,” Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) said of his Republican counterparts. “So if they don’t take over the House, I think it’s a big win.”