Nancy Pelosi is expecting a surge of Democrat enthusiasm this fall to propel her to the position of Speaker of the House.

But that’s all in jeopardy now.

And it has Pelosi running for her life.

The 2016 election was the Democrats third straight failed attempt to retake the House.

Some on the left thought Pelosi’s San Francisco liberalism and age were negatives that continued to hamper the Democrats chances to retake Congress.

So 45-year-old Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan challenged Pelosi for the position of House Minority Leader after the the 2016 election.

Ryan lost his bid, but he did win nearly a third of the House Democrat caucus, which further demonstrated a growing unease about Pelosi’s continued leadership.

In the wake of 28-year-old Democrat Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez booting 20 year incumbent – and fourth ranking House Democrat – Joe Crowley in a June 26th primary, there has been renewed talk about a generational challenge to Pelosi’s leadership team.

The top three Democrats in the House – Pelosi, Maryland’s Stenny Hoyer, and South Carolina’s Jim Clyburn – are all over 70-years-old.

Their presence at the head of the caucus does not reflect the growing energy of the left’s young and increasingly socialist base and pool of candidates.

Ryan recently gave an interview to Politico where he did not dismiss challenging Pelosi again after the 2018 elections.

Politico reports:

“Rep. Tim Ryan is considering taking on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi again in November despite previously ruling out the idea — the latest turn in the caucus wide chaos unleashed by Rep. Joe Crowley’s shocking primary loss last month.

Ryan, who won one-third of the caucus’ backing in a long-shot bid following the 2016 election, would be the first challenger to emerge against Pelosi in the post-Crowley world. Crowley, the No. 4 House Democrat defeated by progressive insurgent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was seen by many in the caucus as Pelosi’s heir apparent.

“The Crowley race changed a lot for a lot of us,” Ryan (D-Ohio) said in an interview Monday. “There was a lot of assumption that he was going to be moving forward in leadership, and so losing that election put everybody in a state of mind to reevaluate what was happening.”

Pelosi’s grip on the caucus could be less secure than many imagine.

While Pelosi commands fierce loyalty from current members because of her fundraising prowess, at least 20 Democrat challengers have pledged not to support her for Speaker.

In the election for Speaker – which is conducted among every member of the House – a candidate must get 218 votes to win.

Should the 20-plus Democrats who have said they will not support Pelosi for Speaker follow through, she would be defeated on the House floor and a second round of balloting would begin.

That would lead to chaos.

Pundits predict that if it becomes clear that Pelosi will be short of the 218 votes necessary to secure the Speaker’s gavel, she will resign from Congress and the Democrats will coalesce around a consensus candidate.

But any challenge to Pelosi would be an uphill battle, especially if the Democrats win the House.

We will keep you up to date on any new developments in the battle for control of Congress.