House speaker election: Jim Jordan isn’t a lock for the post before vote this afternoon

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It wasn’t clear Tuesday if Rep. Jim Jordan would be successful in his push to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, with a floor vote drawing near and the Ohio Republican needing the support of a majority of the chamber.

The narrowly divided chamber is expected to vote in the early afternoon to select a speaker, with the move coming after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted two weeks ago and after No. 2 House Republican Steve Scalise ended his bid for the post last Thursday.

An ally of former President Donald Trump who secured his party’s nomination for the role on Friday, Jordan needs to have 217 votes in his favor, so he can only afford to have four fellow Republicans vote against him as no Democrats are expected to support him. The House has 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats, with two vacancies.

While Jordan racked up significant endorsements Monday, more than four House Republicans are on record as being against him and others are leaning toward “no” votes, as shown in the chart below that comes from a CNN producer.

McCarthy needed 15 rounds of voting in January to secure the speakership.  The California congressman repeatedly saw around 20 fellow Republicans vote against him before finally prevailing.

There are “plenty of reasons to think” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jordan will “be able to grind it out once people are on record,” but the situation is still “unsettled,” said Liam Donovan, a former GOP operative who is now a principal at law and lobbying firm Bracewell, in a post on X.

One possible key is whether support for Jordan declines or not in a second round of voting, according to Matt Glassman, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute. He made that point in his post below.

Analysts have been discussing whether a Jordan speakership could mean a greater likelihood of a government shutdown that weighs on markets
in mid-November, when funding is due to run out from last month’s continuing resolution, or CR.

“Jordan voted against the CR a few weeks ago and has opposed most government spending bills in the past, so some people think he would be comfortable with a government shutdown next month.  That view has some merit, however, as speaker, Jordan would be responsible for helping vulnerable House Republicans who represent competitive districts,” said Brian Gardner, Stifel’s chief Washington policy strategist, in a note.

“His new role could put Mr. Jordan in the position of having to make compromises with Democrats — new territory for him.  The more likely outcome is that, if elected speaker, Jordan will support an extension of the CR.”

U.S. stocks

were advancing Tuesday, helped by encouraging earnings from big banks. Investors also are weighing rising geopolitical risks and better-than expected retail sales.

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