Pelosi fighting to return as House Speaker

CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look at the different scenarios and challenges Nancy Pelosi may be facing in the run-up to the vote for House Speaker.

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 7:55 AM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 8:19 AM

A rebellious faction of House Democrats released a letter Monday vowing to mount a coup and derail Nancy Pelosi's bid to become House speaker, the first major warning shot from the group of detractors who are trying to stop the powerful leader's bid in the new Democratic majority.

Sixteen Democrats have signed the letter, a number that complicates the math for Pelosi to reclaim the title of speaker, a position she previously held from 2007 to 2011. Pelosi, who was making calls to members from San Francisco on Monday, continues to project confidence that she has the votes to be elected speaker and she is still running unchallenged, though Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio has said she is considering entering the race.

"As we head toward the 116th Congress and reclaim our Democratic majority, we believe more strongly than ever that the time has come for new leadership," the letter states.

Fudge was not among those signing the letter released Monday, but she is a longtime critic of Pelosi's. Eleven incumbent Democrats signed: Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois, Rep. Brian Higgins of New York, Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas.

Four incoming freshmen signed: Anthony Brindisi of New York, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Max Rose of New York and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

Ben McAdams of Utah, who ran against Republican Rep. Mia Love and whose race has not yet been projected by CNN, also signed.

In the new Congress, Democrats will hold at least 232 seats Republicans 200, with three undecided races -- two of which Republicans are leading and one in which the Democrat is ahead -- meaning the Democrats could hold 233 seats. To be elected speaker, a candidate needs a majority of members who vote for a specific person on the House floor, which amounts to 218 votes if no member skips the vote or votes "present."

With McAdams uncertain to get a seat, 15 Democrats who signed the letter are definitely going to be members next year.

But at least two additional Democrats are also vowing to vote against her on the floor. That includes Conor Lamb, the Democrat of Pennsylvania, who did not sign the anti-Pelosi letter. Still, he vows to vote against her in next week's caucus meeting and on the floor in January, according to his spokesman, Coleman Lamb.

Abigail Spanberger of Virginia told CNN on Friday she also would not sign "any letter" but said she would still vote against Pelosi on the floor.

"I've been very clear about my position and that remains the same," she said after meeting with Pelosi. "I will be voting, but I will not be voting for her."

It's possible other incoming freshmen who are Pelosi critics could be"no" votes -- especially ones like Democrat Jared Golden of Maine, who promised to vote against Pelosi during his hard-fought victory. A spokesman for Golden did not return a request for comment Monday.

What Fudge ultimately does is also unclear,and her office did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

While Pelosi is facing an increasingly perilous path, many Democrats believe she will ultimately win. That's because there's first a vote in the Democratic Caucus next week where a majority of House Democrats will nominate a candidate for speaker, a vote Pelosi will almost certainly win.

At that point, she will be the Democratic nominee for speaker, and most Democrats ultimately will fall in line with no other candidate formally chosen by their caucus. The critics' letter, also, gives some wiggle room by saying these members are "committed" to voting for new leadership on the floor, rather than outright saying they won't vote for Pelosi under any circumstance.

Some critics may ultimately cave.

As one senior Democratic aide put it, "If your strategy relies upon Nancy Pelosi giving up, you will lose every single time. Ninety-four percent of the caucus didn't sign the letter."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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