Dem leadership race

Hotline on Call reports that two independent sources are now saying that John Murtha’s campaign has conceded they will come up short this morning. If that does indeed happen and Steny Hoyer pulls it out, a serious message will have been sent to Nancy Pelosi from her Democrat colleagues: what you say from on high is not gospel.

It will also mean that all the tough talk from Jim Moran was just that, talk.

And finally, it may mean that there will be some real opportunities for conservatives to work with some of the more moderate Democrats in this majority. On that subject, it is worth noting this Roll Call story:

In an effort to boost their influence in the sharply divided chamber, members of the moderate Republican and Democratic House factions indicated Wednesday that the two groups may coordinate efforts in the 110th Congress and could move to create a formal bipartisan coalition in the new session.

Members of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition and the centrist Republican Tuesday Group met in advance of the Nov. 7 elections, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) said Wednesday, to discuss areas where the groups could align.

The key for conservatives will be finding popular conservative — not squishy moderate — legislation that centrist coalitions will be able to support.

UPDATE: Murtha got whooped, 149-86 and Pelosi suffers her first defeat very early.

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