Midterm election results and news

2 min read

House and Senate Republicans are gearing up for a tense series of closed-door meetings this week as the GOP grapples with what went wrong in the midterms and decides the political fate of its current leaders, who are under fire following last week’s disappointing election results.

With the balance of the House yet to be determined, but a razor-thin majority looking likely, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is staring down a serious revolt from his right flank that could derail his speakership ambitions. Dozens of hardliners are threatening to withhold their support for McCarthy unless he gives in to their demands.

And in the Senate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been calling his colleagues over the last several days to shore up his support as his team plans to plow forward with leadership elections on Wednesday despite grumbling by a faction of dissenters who are trying to slam the brakes after their midterm debacle. They are planning to have a GOP air-clearing session on Tuesday.

McCarthy has also spent the past five days working the phones to solidify support for his speakership bid, and he has spoken to former President Donald Trump multiple times since last Tuesday, according to GOP sources. The former president endorsed McCarthy for speaker the day before the midterm elections – something his allies hope sway his conference’s staunchest Trump supporters.

But Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a former chair of the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus, is considering mounting a long-shot challenge to McCarthy during the House GOP’s internal leadership elections on Tuesday, according to GOP sources familiar with the matter. McCarthy’s team has been prepared for this possibility. 

While McCarthy is not worried about any challengers and only needs a simple majority during that vote to become the GOP’s speaker nominee – the real test would come in January when he would need 218 votes on the floor – the likely challenge from Biggs could expose how McCarthy is currently short of 218 votes and open up uncomfortable conversations about why an oft-promised “red wave” never materialized.

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