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McCarthy: 'I would think I already have the votes' to remain as House GOP leader

McCarthy: 'I would think I already have the votes' to remain as House GOP leader
© Bonnie Cash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight MORE (R-Calif.) expressed confidence that he would retain his leadership position even if Democrats expand their House majority in November.

“I think I’m a pretty good vote counter. I would think I already have the votes,” McCarthy told Politico. “I think, having been through everything I’ve been through and knowing these races, I’m stronger today than at any other time I’ve had leadership races.”

McCarthy has been a close ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE, largely averting mutinies from the House’s conservative flank. Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCheney, top GOP lawmakers ask Trump campaign for proof of election fraud New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future Sunday shows preview: Biden team gears up for transition, Trump legal battles continue and pandemic rages on MORE (R-Ohio), one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the chamber, said through a spokesman last week that he would not challenge McCarthy’s leadership, even if the GOP loses seats in November.

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"Mr. Jordan thinks Kevin McCarthy is doing a tremendous job for the Conference,” spokesman Russell Dye told The Hill. Jordan challenged McCarthy for minority leader after the 2018 midterms, but McCarthy has since helped the Ohio Republican secure the position of top Republican on the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

A House Republican aide told Politico that some members of the House Republican Conference have floated a delay of leadership elections until after December, which could allow any challengers to gather support. However, existing leadership would most likely not let such a delay proceed, the news outlet noted.

“I see Kevin as safe. I also believe he already has the votes locked up to be reelected leader, regardless of the outcome of the election,” Rep. Patrick McHenryPatrick Timothy McHenryMaxine Waters says Biden win is 'dawn of a new progressive America' McCarthy: 'I would think I already have the votes' to remain as House GOP leader Ex-RNC, Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy charged in covert lobbying scheme MORE (R-N.C.) told Politico. “[Steve] Scalise [R-La.] as whip, McCarthy as leader, they’re both in a strong position to be reelected without challenge.”

Scalise would likely be the best-positioned challenger to McCarthy. However, both have been similarly supportive of Trump, meaning Scalise would have a harder time presenting himself as an alternative.

Scalise told Politico he is prioritizing the general election.

“[M]y sole focus these last few weeks is hitting as many districts as I can to help share our message alongside our great members and candidates, with 44 more planned events between now and Election Day, as well as ensuring they have the financial resources they need to make it over the finish line,” he said in a statement.