During a campaign stop for Wyoming Congressional GOP candidate Harriet Hageman in Teton Village, WY on Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) confirmed that he will be Speaker of the House in 2023 should Republicans win the House in November.
“I believe so. We’ll win the majority and I’ll be Speaker. Yes,” confirmed the Congressman.
McCarthy, a Congressman since 2007 who also has served as the House Majority Leader from 2014-2019 and House Majority Whip from 2011-2014, would replace fellow Californian member of Congress Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Speaker.
Part of McCarthy’s confidence comes from current congressional projections, with the GOP having a 79% likelihood of retaking the House this November. That figure includes likely district flipping in several California districts that have been freshly redrawn.
The growing unpopularity of Democratic candidates, as well as Republicans like Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) who have sided with Democrats on key issues, has caused many seats across the country to tilt back towards more conservative candidates. A 40% approval rating of President Joe Biden, as well as Congress holding a roughly 80% disapproval rating according to the latest Gallup polls, has also affected Democrats across the board, strengthening McCarthy’s statement.
McCarthy, specifically, is seeing the Cheney-Hageman election in Wyoming as Tuesday as a choice on where voters stand on the recent select House committee looking into the Capitol storming on January 6th and what role former President Donald Trump and others played in it. He also noted that other issues, such as the economy and inflation, are currently being overlooked by the Committee.
“I don’t think that Cheney’s going to win,” continued McCarthy. “I think it’s going to be a referendum on the January 6 Committee. Why wouldn’t Cheney spend her time on inflation? Why wouldn’t she spend her time focusing on what people across America feel the hardest about?”
McCarthy as next House Speaker
While other top Republicans in the House have been hinted as future Speakers, experts note that McCarthy is all but a shoo-in for the position.
“If McCarthy is to become Speaker, which he is in line for thanks to being Majority Leader after [Former Speaker Paul] Ryan left, a few things have to happen,” explained Angela Warner, a Maryland-based elections consultant, to the Globe on Monday. “One, he needs to win his local House election in California. Considering the makeup of his current district and where his district will be following the new ones coming in, this shouldn’t be a problem. If he loses, then Steve Scalise (R-LA), the current Minority Whip, would probably get it. But again, shouldn’t be a problem.”
“The next one is getting the whole House. It’s no easy task, but if this is where we are at in November, then Republicans get it back. Texas, Florida, South, Midwest will all be big, but Red spots in the West and East, especially New York and California, will also play a crucial part. California in particular has a bunch of open season seats, so your state can help make or break this for the GOP.”
“You know, it’s funny,” Warner continued. “The GOP isn’t as strong in California or Washington or other states on the West Coast nowadays, but as the results come in election night, we may be on the edge of our seats that night waiting to see how some of the Californian districts go like a close Presidential race. It’s quite possible we’ll hear a thank you by Republicans to California that night for helping take the House back, and I’m sure Democrats across the state will be just thrilled by that.”
“In the end though, yeah, McCarthy would easily be the next Speaker if everything generally stays on course.”
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