He easily won enough votes — 188 — to become Republicans’ nominee for speaker, while his challenger, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), collected only 31 votes. But McCarthy will have to win over almost all of those dissenters in early January, when he’ll need 218 votes to become speaker when the full House votes who should succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
That won’t be an easy task. Several House Republicans are making clear that they want big concessions in exchange for their votes — and some are saying, for now at least, that McCarthy won’t get their vote.
This morning, meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will face a challenge of his own.