Third Time Is Not the Charm for Jim Jordan as GOP Opposition Grows to His Speakership Bid in Friday’s Vote

Rep. Jim Jordan’s speakership dreams appear doomed on Friday after he lost even more Republican votes on his third attempt to win the gavel on the House floor.


Rep. Jim Jordan’s speakership dreams appear doomed on Friday after he lost even more Republican votes on his third attempt to win the gavel on the House floor.

  • All 22 Republicans who opposed Jordan on the second ballot remained unmoved, and were joined by three other members including Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-NJ) and Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY).
  • All three represent seats President Joe Biden carried in 2020.
  • Jordan’s latest tally – 193 votes, with 25 Republicans voting for others – surpasses Wednesday’s total for the lowest number of votes any major-party nominee for speaker has received in over a century. 
  • Jordan’s opponents appear steadfast and are not asking for any negotiations – they are implacably opposed to Jordan and don’t appear to be budging. 
  • The numerous death threats and bombardment of their offices with calls from outside their districts by allies of Jordan seems to have only strengthened their resolve
  • “Bullying don’t work,” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), whose wife has been sleeping with a loaded gun after the deluge of death threats they have both received after his vote against Jordan.
  • Jordan convened a third vote after two previous failed attempts despite knowing beforehand that he did not have the votes. 
  • Given Friday’s failed vote, the House will remain leaderless more than two weeks after Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted by a coalition of 8 House Republicans colluding with all House Democrats.
  • At a Friday morning news conference, Jordan said he hoped to have a new speaker by the end of the weekend, so Friday’s vote may just be the beginning. However, given Jordan’s many reversals on Thursday, any plans could change on a dime.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The Washington Post summarized Thursday’s chaotic events in the House, when Jordan decided to back McHenry as a temporary speaker but reversed himself within hours after Republicans opposed the move, with several blasting Jordan for agreeing to a plan that they saw as self-serving and something he would had opposed if it didn’t benefit him.
  • CNN covered Jordan’s attempt to “inject some life back into his flailing bid” by flip-flopping on his previous opposition to raising the cap on the state and local tax dedication. Sources close to Jordan claimed he had made progress with New York Republicans hesitant to vote for him by promising a reversal on the cap, which was a key piece of the 2017 tax reform law.
  • The New York Times profiled the moderate and swing-district Republicans who have doomed Jordan’s speakership bid. As the Times put it, “Knowing their history, Mr. Jordan and his allies believed they would ultimately grit their teeth, put aside their reservations about elevating him to the post second in line to the presidency and vote for him. Not this time. In a remarkable reversal of roles, a group of roughly 20 veteran Republicans, including institutionalists and lawmakers in politically competitive districts, are flexing their muscles against Mr. Jordan’s candidacy.”



  • The Washington Examiner’s Jay Caruso argued Jordan’s failure is a sign that “the House Freedom Caucus chickens have come home to roost.” Caruso concluded, “It’s easy to blow things up when you represent a district in which you don’t have to worry about losing. Jordan is learning the hard way that spending the last 15 years doing all the things a leader doesn’t do is having ramifications now that he wants a leadership position.”
  • National Review’s Jeffrey Blehar compared Jordan to the mythical Sisyphus. Jordan’s decision to repeatedly hold votes even though he knows he doesn’t have enough support to win means he is “currently living out the agonies of Sisyphus, forever pushing a boulder up a steep hill only to lose his grip just before reaching the crest and tumbling back down.”
  • The Wall Street Journal reported on the unclear path forward after Jordan’s latest failure. At a Friday morning press conference, Jordan “declined to say if he would try to keep lawmakers through the weekend for more rounds of voting if he continued to fall short. He also declined to directly answer a question about whether he thought the 2020 presidential election was stolen, as ally Donald Trump has falsely maintained. Jordan said the election had ‘all kinds of problems.’”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023