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Nancy Pelosi dismisses claims that the midterms reflected a wave election for the GOP

She says she's needed now more than ever and indicates no plan to step down

(CNN) —  

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is not ready to admit that Republicans gave Democrats a thumping in last week’s midterm elections.

“I do not believe what happened the other night is a wave,” the California Democrat told Politico in a story published Wednesday. “There was no wave of approval for the Republicans. I wish them congratulations, they won the election, but there was no wave of approval for anybody. There was an ebbing, an ebb tide, for us.”

Republicans have so far expanded their House majority with 10 pick-ups last week, with seven seats still outstanding. Of those seven, two will be decided in Louisiana runoffs next month – where the GOP is heavily favored – and the GOP candidate has a narrow lead in three of the other five races.

If they win the two runoffs as expected and everyone holds their current leads, then they’ll have a net gain of 15 seats, for a total of 249 seats.

Asked whether Pelosi is thinking about stepping down as House Democratic leader, she said she is especially needed now.

“Quite frankly, if we would have won, I would have thought about leaving,” she said.

Pelosi was one of the few Democratic leaders holding out hope for her party ahead of the midterms, saying they “will do OK” and predicting Democrats would retake control as soon as 2016.

CNN’s Robert Yoon contributed to this report.