Kevin McCarthy Odds of Becoming House Speaker Improve, GOP Urges Unity

Posted on: December 1, 2022, 12:06h. 

Last updated on: December 1, 2022, 12:40h.

US Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California), currently the House minority leader, is seeking to become House speaker when the GOP takes control of the congressional chamber on Jan. 3, 2023. But with Republicans expected to hold only a slim majority, the Californian is calling for unity among his party’s federal lawmakers.

Kevin McCarthy odds political 2024 Biden DeSantis
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is seen on the left with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). McCarthy’s odds of becoming the next speaker of the US House of Representatives are shortening as the Republican calls on his party to bond together. (Image: AP)

Republicans are expected to hold 220 to 222 seats of the 435-member House come January 2023. For McCarthy to become House speaker, he’ll need to receive a minimum of 218 votes on January 3 — the day the 118th Congress is sworn in.

With McCarthy needing almost every Republican in the House next year to back him as speaker, the current House Minority Leader is calling on the GOP to bond together following the 2022 midterms.

We have to speak as one voice. We will only be successful if we work together, or we’ll lose individually. This is very fragile — that we are the only stopgap for this [President Joe Biden] administration,” McCarthy said on Newsmax this week.

McCarthy’s pleas are winning over some political bettors on PredictIt. McCarthy’s shares of being recognized as House speaker of the next Congress have climbed three cents over the past 24 hours to an implied likelihood of 75%.

Earlier this month, McCarthy’s odds of replacing outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) were as low as 56%.

Divided Congress

The Democrats will retain power in the Senate after halting the Republicans’ midterms momentum last month with Senate election wins in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada — three pivotal swing states the GOP had hoped to win.

The red wave of the Republicans taking considerable majorities in each chamber of Congress wasn’t realized. Instead, the president’s party will keep power in the Senate with at least 50 seats.

Bettors believe the Democrats will increase their Senate allotment to 51 seats for the next congress in less than a week with the Georgia runoff. Incumbent US. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) is fielding a challenge from Republican political newcomer Herschel Walker.

Warnock narrowly edged Walker during the November midterms. But his less than 1% lead — and the fact that neither candidate eclipsed the required 50% threshold — forced a special runoff to be held next Tuesday, December 6.

Republicans have already lost Senate power for at least the next two years, as a 50-50 Senate deadlock is split with a tie-breaking vote from the Senate president, who is currently Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat.  That reality could hamper GOP turnout for Walker, another Trump-picked candidate who’s on the verge of defeat.

DeSantis 2024 Favorite

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has emerged as the betting favorite for 2024. Though the 2022 midterms reenergized Biden’s political career, it likely also ended Trump’s, though the former president nonetheless announced another presidential campaign last month.

The high-profile losses of Trump-backed Senate candidates — most notably Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Blake Masters in Arizona — have caused unrest among Republicans. It’s fueled a general notion that it’s past time to move forward with a new party leader. That presumed leader is DeSantis, who won reelection last month by nearly 20 points over former Florida Gov. and US Rep. Charlie Crist.

DeSantis’ odds of becoming the next US president are currently at 2/1 — an implied chance of about 33.3%. Biden is next at 30%.


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