The Republicans who voted against the bid by Representative Kevin McCarthy of California for House speaker include some of the chamber’s most hard-right lawmakers. Most denied the 2020 election, are members of the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus, or both. Here’s a closer look at the 20 lawmakers.
Anna Paulina Luna
12 denied the results of the 2020 election.
More than half of the lawmakers who voted against Mr. McCarthy explicitly denied the results of the 2020 election, compared with about 15 percent of the 222 total members in the Republican caucus, according to a New York Times analysis. These Republicans said that the election had been stolen or rigged — or that Donald J. Trump was the rightful winner — even though Joe Biden earned seven million more votes and 74 more electors than Mr. Trump.
“President Trump won that election,” said Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, one of the five newcomers who opposed Mr. McCarthy’s speaker bid. Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Andy Biggs of Arizona, who have emerged as ringleaders against Mr. McCarthy’s bid, have also called the 2020 election stolen.
Nearly all of the lawmakers who voted against Mr. McCarthy made statements casting doubt on the 2020 election, often repeatedly, not unlike the overall Republican caucus. At least 180 of the 222 House Republicans have questioned the 2020 election, according to The Times’s analysis.
19 are associated with the Freedom Caucus.
Most of the lawmakers who voted against Mr. McCarthy — at least 95 percent — are members of the House Freedom Caucus or were recently endorsed by its campaign arm. By contrast, just about a fifth of all House Republicans are estimated to be part of the caucus, founded in 2015 and considered to be one of the farthest-right groups in the House.
In the third round of voting on Tuesday, all 20 of the lawmakers defying Mr. McCarthy voted for Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio instead. Mr. Jordan, who himself voted for Mr. McCarthy, is a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and has repeatedly cast doubt on the 2020 election.
In the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, held Wednesday, the same 20 lawmakers voted for Representative Byron Donalds of Florida, also a member of the Freedom Caucus, instead of Mr. McCarthy. Mr. Donalds joined the group on the third vote, throwing his support to Mr. Jordan after voting for Mr. McCarthy on the first two ballots, and then for himself in the subsequent ballots.
Almost all of the incumbents were “objectors.”
Fourteen of the 15 incumbents who voted against Mr. McCarthy were among the 139 House Republicans who, on Jan. 6, 2021, voted to overturn the 2020 Electoral College results. Comparatively, fewer than two-thirds of House Republican incumbents were objectors.
17 were endorsed by Trump in 2022.
At least 85 percent of the lawmakers who voted against Mr. McCarthy were endorsed by Mr. Trump before the 2022 midterm election, a higher share than the 67 percent in the Republican caucus as a whole.
Still, these lawmakers were steadfast in their opposition to Mr. McCarthy, despite Mr. Trump’s backing of the California Republican, whom he has called “My Kevin.”
Where they are from
Nearly half of the lawmakers who opposed Mr. McCarthy represent districts in three states: Texas, Arizona and Florida.
The New York Times
Mr. McCarthy failed to win the speakership even after the six votes. By the fourth ballot, he lost the backing of another Republican — Victoria Spartz of Indiana, who voted present after initially supporting Mr. McCarthy.