In the first vote for the new House speaker on Tuesday, Oct. 17, Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries won 212 votes. Jordan received 200 votes, with 20 Republican holdouts voting for other candidates – six votes for former speaker Kevin McCarthy, seven votes for McCarthy ally and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and three votes for former New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin. Four other holdouts voted for Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Rep. Mike Garcia of California and Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
Before the vote, in an interview with Steve Bannon on Real America's Voice, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, one of Jordan's staunchest supporters and allies in the House, noted that the conservative wing of the Republican Party had made a lot of progress in winning over the holdouts over Jordan's nomination. (Related: Rep. Jim Jordan chosen as House Republican nominee for speaker.)
"The wind is at the back of Speaker-designate Jim Jordan," Gaetz said at the time while noting that this is still not a certainty. "I think we go into this with a good dose of realism and sobriety, but the wind is at our back."
Notably, Gaetz spoke about how Jordan was able to convince notable holdout Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama and many southern Republicans to come over and support Jordan's nomination. He noted that Rogers' eventual endorsement of Jordan's nomination is "a message" to those who disagree with Jordan's nomination that "holding out against Jordan is ultimately a fool's errand."
"It is not going to be productive. The 'Jordan Train' is coming. You need to get on board or you can be run over," said Gaetz.
Among the 20 representatives who did not vote for Jordan, three clear blocs have indicated why they did not support the conservative ally of former President Donald Trump's bid for the speakership.
Among the most notable are seven Republicans whose districts are considered "purple" districts, meaning that they represent districts either won by President Joe Biden in the 2020 election or are at risk of being lost to Biden in 2024. They are worried that their support for Jordan could hurt their chances at reelection.
These are Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska, Lori Chavez DeRemer of Oregon, Jen Kiggans of Virginia and the four New York Republicans whom Jordan notably did his best to win over in the days leading up to the first vote on Tuesday. They are Reps. Andrew Garbarino, Anthony D'Esposito, Nick Lalota and Mike Lawler.
The next group is seven Republicans, all of whom serve in the House Appropriations Committee, which controls federal spending. These members expressed concern about Jordan's speakership as they believe he would be demanding supposedly extreme across-the-board funding cuts, including to the military.
This bloc includes Reps. Kay Granger of Texas, the chairwoman of the committee, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Jake Ellzey of Texas, Tony Gonzales of Texas, John Rutherford of Florida, Mike Simpson of Idaho and Steve Womack of Arkansas.
The last group is a bloc of six Republicans who are known as moderates or McCarthy loyalists. They are Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Carlos Gimenez of Florida, Doug LaMalfa of California, John James of Michigan, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Victoria Spartz of Indiana.
Jordan and his allies in the House have a long road ahead of them to convince these three clear blocs to support his speakership. Of these, only LaMalfa has indicated his willingness to come over to Jordan's side and vote for him on the second ballot.
"We're going to keep working," said Jordan after the vote fell through, adding that he was not surprised so many held off on voting for him and that he expected to do better in the next round. "We feel confident."
Find more stories like this at BigGovernment.news.
Watch this episode of the "War Room" on Real America's Voice as host Steve Bannon interviews Rep. Matt Gaetz about Jordan's looming House speakership.