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Prediction: It Won't Be Long Now


Lott backers have warned that if he is dumped as leader, he may resign from the Senate, leaving it up to Mississippi's Democratic governor, Ronnie Musgrove, to name a successor until a new senator is elected next year. Musgrove would probably appoint a Democrat, taking away the Republicans' Senate majority.

But White House officials have told Republicans that Bush is willing to accept the consequences if Lott quits and allows Musgrove to replace him, GOP officials said.