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Tipsheet

Kevin McCarthy Loses Ground on Third Ballot

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

As Tuesday dragged on, the first day of the new Congress became anything but what Republicans wanted it to be — and seemingly got even worse as the afternoon dragged on.

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The first ballot to elect a Speaker of the House failed after GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy didn't meet the 218 threshold to win the gavel after 10 Republicans backed Rep. Andy Biggs and another nine voted for other people. 

On the second ballot, McCarthy again came up short, but by the same score after 19 Republicans coalesced behind Rep. Jim Jordan even though he voted for McCarthy.

In the third round, McCarthy again fell short of victory with 202 votes, still short of the 218 needed to win, to Jeffries' steady 212 votes and Jordan's 20 votes. 

Careful observers will note that Jordan's vote total increased on the third ballot from the second, thanks to Rep. Byron Donalds who switched to support Jordan after voting for McCarthy on the two previous ballots. 

That is, McCarthy is losing ground as the ballot rounds drag on. That's not exactly where the GOP Leader or his supporters would have wanted to be on the third ballot heading for a fourth roll call vote that won't get started until at least 5:00 p.m. ET with no clear end in sight.

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After switching to vote against McCarthy on the third ballot, Rep. Donalds took to Twitter to explain the "reality is Rep. Kevin McCarthy doesn't have the votes" and called on Republicans to "recess and huddle and find someone or work out the next steps," rather than continuing with endless roll call votes that, seemingly, aren't moving House members any closer to choosing the next Speaker of the House:

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A House GOP staffer told Townhall in between the second and third ballots that the situation unfolding on the House floor "is f***ing bats**t," showing that things look as bad inside the Capitol as they do to Americans following the developments from home. 

Following the third round, a motion was made and agreed to for the House to adjourn until noon on Wednesday, giving Republicans a chance to meet again in private — to chart a path forward for McCarthy in his bid for speaker and see what the 20 Republicans who refused to vote for the GOP Leader on the third ballot need in order to throw their support behind McCarthy. 

This is a developing story and may be updated.

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