The next speaker of the House will not be picked until January when the new Congress convenes, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., remains the strong favorite for the post.
While 31 House Republicans of 220 voted against McCarthy as their next speaker, that number is not insurmountable when the vote to goes to the full House floor.
Under House rules, the whole Congress selects the speaker, and for McCarthy to win, he needs 218 votes.
That means he also needs most of those early 31 "nay" votes to begrudgingly switch and vote for him.
The 31 might seem to be a tough nut to crack but it is not. And the 31 total is actually smaller than the votes against the last two speakers.
In 2018, Nancy Pelosi had 33 Democrat members vote against her, with an additional three abstaining. But when it came the floor vote for speaker, she won.
In 2016, Paul Ryan had 42 nay votes. He, too, prevailed to become speaker at the floor vote.
Why the speaker designate almost always wins is simple: The nay votes have nowhere else to go.
And in McCarthy's case, he is a strong consensus candidate, liked by almost all factions with the caucus.
As Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., explained the process to Newsmax this way: "Kevin McCarthy will win. When history commands, we must obey."
Some House Freedom Caucus members, led by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., have complained McCarthy is not aggressive enough in fighting the Biden agenda.
But I can report a meeting is the works between McCarthy and Biggs along with several others who are not yet sold on him.
McCarthy's team also remain confident but vigilant.
"Kevin celebrated Thanksgiving and will now keep on grinding," one Capitol Hill insider who is close to McCarthy, told Newsmax.
"He'll meet with everyone who didn't vote for him and will work out any differences."
McCarthy will also play a heavyweight role as the new Congress selects committee assignments and chairmanships.
This will, no doubt, enhance McCarthy's standing in the official vote for speaker in January.
The strong bet is that Kevin McCarthy will be the next speaker of the House.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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