Voters will do much more than decide control of Congress next week: They will determine whether the most powerful political figures in Washington are up, out or ousted from their leadership jobs.
Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful House speaker in decades, is in serious danger of losing her job, either by Democrats' surrendering the majority or by emerging with a margin too thin to protect her. John Boehner is a cinch to replace her if Republicans win back power — but expectations are running so high, his job could be on the line if they fall short.
Harry Reid, a less formidable and less polished leader than Pelosi, could easily lose either his race — a 50-50 proposition at this point — or, less likely, his 10-seat majority. If the Senate falls, Mitch McConnell would become majority leader and inherit arguably the worst leadership job in Washington: running the Senate with a meaningless margin and squeezed by a bunch of tea party senators hellbent on stiffing the establishment.