Democrats voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to nominate Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the next Speaker, underlining her strength within the caucus as she strides toward a tougher public contest in January.
The tally in the secret-ballot vote was 203-32, with three lawmakers leaving the ballot blank. One Pelosi supporter, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), was absent as he seeks treatment for an illness in New York. The 32 votes against Pelosi, the current minority leader, would be enough to prevent her from winning the Speaker’s gavel in a Jan. 3 floor vote, which requires support from a majority of the full House.
With Republicans opposed to Pelosi, she could only afford to lose 17 Democratic votes and reach the magic 218 number.