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Jordan’s shot for the speaker, close to no avail

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, came up short in his bid to win the House Speaker post on Tuesday.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, came up short in his bid to win the House Speaker post on Tuesday.

Craig Hudson-USA TODAY via Reuters

One vote down, co-founder of the Freedom Caucus Jim Jordan is still 17 votes shy of the 217 votes needed to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives.


As Jordan calls for another vote, all eyes are on the 20 holdouts, many of whom are from swing districts or the House Appropriations Committee in charge of spending bills – which Jordan has voted for only 16% of the time since 2011.

Jordan and his far-right allies have gotten him this far by sheer force. Making up a minority in the House, they have still managed to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, topple Steve Scalise – the party’s handpicked successor – in just a day, and have taken to social media to blast the Republicans opposing Jordan.

Jordan’s fight for the speakership exemplifies the state of the GOP, where members of each of the “Five Families” – a mafia reference that has become Republican shorthand for the various factions in the party – are more loyal to each other and their followers than the party or its leadership.

But as the clock ticks on in a speakerless House, Republicans cannot address the war in Gaza while looking weak ahead of upcoming budget fights. The remaining holdouts undoubtedly feel the mounting pressure to get the party back to work, which in the end, may be a stronger reason to change their vote than any far-right pressure campaign ever could be.

Round No. 2 begins at 11 am Wednesday.

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