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Pelosi still short on votes to be House speaker as 35 Democrats withhold support

Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday easily cleared the first hurdle on her path to reclaiming the House speakership by winning the Democrats’ nomination.

Her top two lieutenants also renewed their leases on leadership jobs in the next Congress, meaning House Democrats will likely be led by the same team that has reigned for the past dozen years, taking them to the heights of power, suffering colossal defeats and ascending once again.

The House Democratic Caucus voted 203-32 to name Mrs. Pelosi speaker-designee, showing she is well within striking distance of the 218 total Democrats she will need Jan. 3, when the whole House votes to elect the speaker, the No. 2 person in the line of presidential succession.

“Are there dissenters? Yes,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “But I expect to have a powerful vote as we go forward.”

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