Conservative supporter says he believes he will eventually lose more backing- QHN

Representatives gather in the House chamber on Tuesday.
Representatives gather in the House chamber on Tuesday. (Craig Hudson/Sipa/AP)

A stalemate in the House to elect a speaker continues, after Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy appears to have failed to get the majority of votes needed on the second ballot.

It’s a holding patten that might not end any time soon, CNN analysts say.

Lawmakers will continue voting until someone wins the majority. They can take successive votes and they also have the option to adjourn to negotiate among themselves — but the House does not kick off the new Congress until a speaker is elected.

The major opposition to McCarthy is coming in the form of a handful of conservative lawmakers, many members of the Freedom Caucus. Nineteen Republicans who didn’t want to vote for McCarthy instead voted for Rep. Jim Jordan on the second ballot, who was nominated by Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Those lawmakers plan to vote again for Jordan on the third ballot, Republican Rep. Bob Good told CNN.

The problem is when this happens, it takes away votes from McCarthy — blocking anyone from winning the majority.

CNN correspondents say that might be exactly the point.

“This is a group who wants to burn it down. Kevin offered them everything, and they said no. They don’t want it,” Jamie Gangel, CNN special correspondent said in her analysis, referring to negotiations between the conservative lawmakers and McCarthy before Congress convened Tuesday.

“The hallmark of this group of 19 and the folks who are kind of leading this charge is that it’s all about throwing a wrench in the machine but not actually solving any problems,” CNN anchor and political correspondent Abby Phillip said.

What happens next? No one really knows.

“Who is the alternative? No one has really emerged who will actually have a shot of getting to 218,” Phillip added.

McCarthy made it clear at the beginning of voting that he plans to continue to endure ballot after ballot and will not back down, sources said.

CNN’s Manu Raju contributed reporting to this post.

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