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Democrats Pressing Pelosi to Step Aside

WASHINGTON -- In a fresh sign of turmoil among defeated Democrats, a growing number of the rank and file say they won't support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a politically symbolic roll call when the new Congress meets in January.

"The reality is that she is politically toxic," said Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, one of several Democrats who are trying to pressure Pelosi to step aside as her party's leader in the wake of historic election losses to Republicans last week.

Pelosi startled many Democrats with a quick postelection announcement that she would run for minority leader. She has yet to draw an opponent for the post. Party elections are scheduled for next week, although a postponement is possible.

In the interim, Pelosi's critics have become more vocal in their efforts to retire her from the party leadership.

There's "starting to be a sense that this may not be as much of a done deal as people might have thought," Rep. Jason Altmire said of Pelosi's quest to remain the top Democrat.

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