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Kevin McCarthy Becoming Speaker Is a Toss Up

Tara Palmeri: “The Republicans I’ve spoken to over the weekend say there’s a 50 percent chance that McCarthy becomes Speaker, but those odds seem to be dropping every day. And over the next six weeks, we’re going to have to watch closely to see how McCarthy convinces 36 members, who didn’t vote for him in the conference vote, to support him for Speaker on the House floor on January 3rd.”

“I don’t think we’re going to hear any pronouncements from McCarthy like ‘I’ve reached 218!’ anytime before that. In fact, it could be one of those things where McCarthy goes for broke on the House floor and dares everyone to stomp on his dreams. So far, four members have publicly said they will not vote for McCarthy—Matt Gaetz and Andy Biggs were explicit ‘Nos’ and Bob Good and Matt Rosendale have also strongly signaled that they are against McCarthy. They have this personal hatred for him. I don’t think he can change that.”

“Now in the best case scenario, one in which the Republicans have 222 seats in the House, McCarthy can afford to lose those four and still win the Speakership. But what if it ends up being 221? Then he needs to peel off one of them, or convince a Democrat to vote for him or get someone to abstain from voting. And I’m not even accounting for the silent ‘No’ voters who have not said publicly that they won’t vote for McCarthy.”

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