Bloomberg by the Numbers: 117

House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, speaks to reporters during a news conference following the weekly Republican Conference meeting in Washington, D.C., Jan 14, 2014.

Photograph by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, speaks to reporters during a news conference following the weekly Republican Conference meeting in Washington, D.C., Jan 14, 2014.

That’s a majority of the 233-member House Republican Conference, which is the electorate for party leadership elections today.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California is favored to defeat Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho for majority leader, the No. 2 job behind Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. The current majority leader, Eric Cantor, is vacating the post after losing a re-election bid in his Virginia district last week.

McCarthy, who ranks third as the majority whip, would vacate that post if he is promoted to No. 2. Reps. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana  are vying to succeed McCarthy as whip. A majority of the vote is needed to win outright; that may not happen on the first ballot. Read Derek Wallbank’s story for more about the whip contest.

Both leadership elections will be conducted by secret ballot. That means that votes received can fall short of commitments, because some members of Congress will lie about who they’re backing.

For more on the intrigue and unpredictability surrounding leadership elections, see a pair of Political Capital posts analyzing past races.

 

 

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