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: 500709

Reported Deaths: 9977
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34312538
DeSoto32080403
Hinds31924627
Jackson24482379
Rankin21983390
Lee15530235
Madison14574280
Jones13838242
Forrest13447251
Lauderdale11985316
Lowndes11030188
Lamar10508135
Pearl River9503237
Lafayette8547139
Hancock7728126
Washington7422157
Oktibbeha7142131
Monroe6769176
Warren6682176
Pontotoc6659102
Neshoba6635206
Panola6520131
Marshall6462134
Bolivar6313148
Union602494
Pike5817152
Alcorn5667101
Lincoln5433135
George496779
Scott472698
Tippah469081
Prentiss466881
Leflore4657144
Itawamba4633105
Adams4586119
Tate4584110
Copiah448592
Simpson4445116
Yazoo443987
Wayne439772
Covington428794
Sunflower4237105
Marion4225108
Coahoma4159104
Leake408288
Newton381679
Grenada3706108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359692
Attala331489
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay307976
Chickasaw299667
Clarke292494
Calhoun279346
Holmes267887
Smith263850
Yalobusha233747
Tallahatchie227151
Greene219048
Walthall218763
Lawrence212440
Perry205356
Amite205155
Webster202746
Noxubee186640
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171542
Carroll168838
Tunica159439
Benton148738
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132437
Humphreys129238
Franklin120028
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 817054

Reported Deaths: 15320
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1145501922
Mobile724601333
Madison52172694
Shelby37533348
Baldwin37192547
Tuscaloosa35044606
Montgomery34067734
Lee23195245
Calhoun22205476
Morgan20754376
Etowah19811497
Marshall18317302
Houston17345411
St. Clair15983339
Cullman15383292
Limestone15298198
Elmore15161284
Lauderdale14225294
Talladega13802276
DeKalb12622260
Walker11162369
Blount10162175
Autauga9954146
Jackson9844182
Coffee9195191
Dale8880185
Colbert8826201
Tallapoosa7071198
Escambia6764130
Covington6699183
Chilton6627161
Russell627959
Franklin5955105
Chambers5567142
Marion4982126
Dallas4936200
Clarke474583
Pike4722105
Geneva4566126
Winston4502103
Lawrence4296117
Bibb424086
Barbour356676
Marengo337789
Monroe331463
Randolph328763
Butler325696
Pickens315682
Henry311965
Hale311088
Cherokee301760
Fayette291879
Washington251351
Cleburne247360
Crenshaw244375
Clay241768
Macon232363
Lamar222047
Conecuh185853
Coosa179739
Lowndes174564
Wilcox167939
Bullock151644
Perry138340
Sumter132738
Greene126644
Choctaw88127
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