Your viewer’s guide to the latest House Republican speaker drama

Your viewer’s guide to the latest House Republican speaker drama

As the House votes on firebrand Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) speakership hopes, he’s already passed the threshold of opposition that will prevent him from getting elected on the first ballot — and it’s not clear whether the chamber will go to a second ballot or break. It’s safe to say that things could get confusing for those watching at home.

So here’s what to watch for throughout what could be a long day.

One and done? It is unlikely that Jordan gets the votes on the first ballot. Several House Republicans said they aren’t ready to back him as their leader, and he can only afford to lose four of them. But he is ready to throw down in a floor fight with consecutive ballots.

The anti-Jordan camp is scattering its votes to other Republicans they’d like to see have the gavel, including former Speaker Kevin McCarthy — who was ousted two weeks ago — and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the first successor in line who dropped out last week.

Break doesn’t mean broken: The House could pause voting if Jordan fails on the first ballot. A recess would allow him to meet with more holdouts to try and bring them into his camp before House members return to the floor for more votes.

So the House going into recess isn’t necessarily a sign of anything major, except that Republicans want to take some time off the floor — away from the cameras — to regroup on their strategy. But as we saw last week, the House GOP calling a full conference meeting could signal a bigger shift, or potentially an announcement from Jordan.

Switching on second ballot: Some Republicans pledging to vote for Jordan have only committed to back him on the first ballot, so keep an eye out for vote switchers — both critics who Jordan is able to flip and pro-Jordan votes abandoning him.

‘Present’ can be a gift: Jordan needs a majority of floor votes cast for a candidate to win, which does not include “present” votes that essentially amount to abstaining from the choice.

Keep an eye on how many skeptical Republicans he can persuade to vote “present” rather than against him, which is a way to make his victory easier (while allowing those GOP lawmakers to claim later that they didn’t vote for Jordan).

Never gonna happen: Some Republicans may vote for former President Donald Trump or former House members like Lee Zeldin, but neither have a chance of being speaker. Voting for names like Trump or Zeldin simply lets members take their stand against Jordan.

It’s a way to “get [opposition] out of their system,” as Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) predicted last week. Those statement votes are expected to get less popular as balloting continues.

Third-ballot stress: Jordan’s bid going to a third ballot, or beyond, will make many House Republicans wary. There is concern within the conference that another drawn-out floor fight, like the 15 ballots it took Kevin McCarthy to win in January, would only further highlight Republicans’ divisions and project more chaos.

Go to Source