Back in 2018, then-candidate Mikie Sherrill sought to establish her independence by saying she would not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.
It’s hard to say if average voters really care about such things, but the bottom line is that Sherrill won election in CD-11 that fall and – sure enough – kept her pledge and didn’t vote for Pelosi when the House reorganized in January, 2019. Not that it mattered; Pelosi, of course, was elected Speaker with 220 votes.
In all, 15 Democrats didn’t back Pelosi.
Three of them, including then-Democrat and now-Republican Jeff Van Drew from CD-2, abstained.
For the record, Sherrill voted for Cheri Bustos of Illinois. All the other New Jersey House Democrats backed Pelosi.
Sherrill’s opposition to Pelosi didn’t dissuade Rosemary Becchi. her Republican opponent this fall, from linking Sherrill to the Speaker. Becchi noted that Sherrill frequently voted “with Pelosi.”
No matter. Sherrill won reelection by about 30,000 votes and come next month, Pelosi will be running again for Speaker of the House.
But the landscape has changed.
Somewhat lost in the president’s childish response to losing the election is that Republicans actually had a pretty good Nov. 3. For one thing, they narrowed the Democrats advantage in the House to a razor-thin margin.
There are still three seats to be decided, including a runoff in Louisiana, but it looks like Dems may hold only 222 seats in the House come January, just nine more than Republicans.
The math is elementary. Pelosi can’t afford to lose 15 Democratic votes this time around.
To be elected Speaker, a candidate needs an “absolute majority” of those voting. If that doesn’t happen, voting will continue until it does.
As we said, the machinations here probably are of more interest to political insiders than to regular people.
But for those who care, the first session of the new Congress is going to be fun to watch.
So, how is Sherrill going to vote this time around?
A spokesperson said she hasn’t made a decision yet.