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Pelosi wins reelection as House speaker, in Democratic caucus vote

Pelosi has been the top Democrat in the chamber since 2003. 

Updated: November 18, 2020 - 12:41pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday won reelection as leader of the Democrat-controlled chamber, with none of the potential challenges from within her caucus appearing to have materialized.

Whether House Democrats will reelect the California lawmaker to another two-year term has for years been among inside Washington and the news media's most popular guessing games. Pelosi, a skilled vote counter, has been the top Democrat in the chamber sine 2003. 

This year, the 80-year-old lawmaker faced criticism about her leadership team losing at least seven seats after expressing optimism about gains to the majority Democrats won in 2018.

The result is that Pelosi starting next year will have just a narrow 219-204 majority, with 12 contests too close to call, according to the Los Angeles Times. To control the House, 218 seats are needed.

Pelosi will also have to contend with the ongoing split between her caucus’ moderate and progressive wings, some of whose members engaged in finger-pointing after the Nov. 3 losses. Neither wing had as of Wednesday morning put up a challenger to Pelosi.

This term is expected to be one of Pelosi’s last, considering she agreed in 2018 to not run for speaker after 2022, the newspaper also reported.

The full House will formally elect the speaker on Jan. 3. The winner requires a majority vote of 218 in the chamber.