Pelosi moved closer to the speaker's gavel last week when the Democratic caucus voted 203-32 for her. She needs 218 votes from the full House in January to become speaker. Pelosi, D-Calif., is unlikely to win much, if any, Republican support, but it's a safe bet enough caucus members who voted against her will flip in January or vote “present,” allowing her to become speaker again as she was from 2007-2011.
Pelosi had faced a sizable challenge, with 16 Democrats signing a letter promising to oppose her bid and several others waffling about whether they would support her. But Democrats continued to win seats that were too close to call on Election Night, providing her more wiggle room. And, she did some horse trading to sway other members.
One of those, Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, had mulled challenging Pelosi for the speakership, until Pelosi named her chairwoman of a newly formed House subcommittee on elections. New York Rep. Brian Higgins opposed Pelosi until she vowed to work with him on improving infrastructure and lowering the age for Medicare eligibility, two priority issues for Higgins.
Another New Yorker, Rep. Kathleen Rice, said she and other members met with Pelosi to have “a reasonable conversation about leadership transition” but that their concerns “were dismissed outright.” Rice doesn't seem inclined to change her mind, meaning she could be cast into the wilderness when committee and subcommittee assignments are made.