Jim Jordan and Allies Unleash Public Pressure Campaign on Speaker Vote Holdouts
As Ohio Representative Jim Jordan rushes to secure the necessary votes in advance of a Tuesday vote for Speaker of the House, he and his allies are activating a public pressure campaign, attempting to rally the GOP base into strong-arming wavering lawmakers who are either ideologically opposed to the far-right congressman or soured by his faction’s responsibility for sending the House into unprecedented turmoil over the past two weeks.
Jordan allies are hoping that when House members return to Capitol Hill after the weekend recess, it will generate local pressure from the GOP base for the party to rally around the Ohio congressman, who has forged close ties with former President Donald Trump. “Everybody’s going to go home, listen to their constituents, and make a decision,” said Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett of Tennessee. “Honestly, the grassroots, there’s nobody stronger” than Jordan.
Several GOP representatives and conservative activists are working to fan public support for Jordan, taking to social media to browbeat likely “no” votes into supporting the Ohio politician. “You want to explain to your voters why you blocked Jordan?” Florida Representative Anna Paulina Luna wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, late Friday evening. “Then bring it.”
Several Jordan supporters have posted the phone numbers of House members considered likely holdouts, encouraging constituents to flood their representatives with pro-Jordan calls, reports The New York Times.
It’s a controversial strategy that Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw, a Jordan supporter, called “the dumbest thing you can do” in a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“I’m supporting Jordan. I’m going to vote for Jordan. As someone who wants Jim Jordan, the dumbest thing you can do is to continue pissing off those people,” Crenshaw said. “When I ask people who are taking that tack, I’m like, ‘Did that work on you, when you were one of the 20 against McCarthy, and everybody was bashing you?’” he added. “Everybody’s got to grow up, get it together. If there’s differences, let’s sort them out.”
It’s been clear that Jordan will face an uphill battle since his nomination on Friday, after which a second private vote revealed that 55 members were opposed to his speakership. Jordan can only afford four GOP defections in the likely scenario in which the Democrats vote unanimously against him.
An anonymous senior GOP House member told CNN Sunday that there are roughly 40 “no” votes within the caucus, and that he’d personally heard from 20 members who have pledged to block Jordan’s path to the top House job if he forces a vote on the floor Tuesday. “The approximately 20 I’ve talked to know we must be prepared,” the representative said. “We cannot let the small group dictate to the whole group. They want a minority of the majority to dictate, and as a red-blooded American, I refuse to be a victim.”
But some close to Jordan believe he can capitalize on moderate Republicans’ allergic reaction to the public revolts and political brinkmanship that have typified the GOP’s hard-right flank. “These 60 members are not voting against Jordan on the floor,” Russell Vought, a Jordan ally and president of the Center for Renewing America, a pro-Trump think tank, wrote on X. “Take it to the floor & call their bluff.”