17 House Democrats have signed a letter vowing that they will not vote for Nancy Pelosi on the House floor. If they stick to this pledge, Nancy Pelosi could lack the necessary 218 votes needed to be elected Speaker of the House. Democrats are poised to hold at least 227 seats next year.
Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become speaker of the House is becoming more complicated, as 17 Democrats have now signed a letter saying they won’t vote for her on the House floor, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter.
If these Democrats stick to this pledge, the California Democrat, who is currently the leader of her party in the House, may not have the votes to become speaker. In addition to the 17, five additional Democrats have pledged not to support her on the floor but have yet to sign the letter, one of the sources said.
The goal of the Pelosi critics is to force her out of the speaker’s race by convincing her she does not have the votes to win. But Pelosi and her allies reject that notion and are confident of their chances, saying she will call their bluff on the floor.
Pelosi first needs to win a majority of the House Democrats to win the caucus nomination on November 28. Then, she needs to win a majority of House members who vote for a candidate — likely 218 — and can’t afford to lose too many Democrats on the floor.