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 8:12 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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 6518
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin999721578
Ramsey42807796
Dakota35912384
Anoka33081383
Washington21896253
Stearns18695200
St. Louis14668262
Scott13159107
Wright12447114
Olmsted1172088
Sherburne866673
Carver759940
Clay685386
Rice665391
Blue Earth588035
Kandiyohi577474
Crow Wing516280
Chisago494744
Otter Tail479670
Benton441890
Winona414849
Mower400731
Douglas391068
Nobles385847
Goodhue383768
Polk341362
McLeod337049
Beltrami335751
Morrison322446
Lyon311543
Itasca309946
Becker308141
Isanti304153
Carlton298744
Steele298211
Pine281216
Freeborn278023
Nicollet253141
Todd244930
Brown241537
Le Sueur231520
Mille Lacs225847
Cass218224
Waseca207317
Meeker206534
Martin187528
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Murray9428
Jackson92610
Swift87318
Pope7935
Marshall77015
Stevens7368
Lake73018
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Lac qui Parle68216
Wilkin66610
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Traverse3015
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Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 360369

Reported Deaths: 5380
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57811545
Linn20555312
Scott18229205
Black Hawk16205287
Woodbury14896211
Johnson1376873
Dubuque13494194
Dallas1128090
Pottawattamie10724141
Story1014845
Warren551172
Clinton541683
Cerro Gordo531980
Webster516786
Marshall494872
Sioux492369
Buena Vista471436
Des Moines455261
Muscatine448591
Wapello4279108
Jasper407565
Plymouth393377
Lee373551
Marion357369
Jones293854
Henry292335
Carroll284648
Bremer277354
Crawford272435
Boone258830
Washington253547
Benton251154
Mahaska222946
Jackson220938
Dickinson216538
Tama212064
Kossuth207354
Clay193125
Hamilton191541
Delaware188739
Winneshiek187126
Fayette184334
Buchanan183630
Page181919
Hardin180239
Wright179631
Harrison178869
Cedar176222
Clayton167853
Butler165631
Mills162720
Floyd162339
Madison153618
Cherokee153535
Poweshiek153430
Hancock146429
Lyon145641
Iowa143823
Allamakee143745
Appanoose138547
Grundy138330
Jefferson137632
Winnebago137530
Calhoun133111
Cass132548
Mitchell130240
Louisa127741
Union126131
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Sac123718
Emmet120940
Shelby120033
Franklin118319
Humboldt117125
Guthrie116228
Palo Alto104321
Montgomery103936
Howard102921
Clarke99820
Keokuk97729
Unassigned9320
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Ida90732
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Davis82223
Monona81426
Greene76610
Lucas72921
Osceola70014
Worth6927
Taylor66312
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Decatur5739
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