Republicans did not release a vote count, but the results were expected—nobody gave Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador a real shot of winning. The GOP's attention now turns to a much closer three-way battle between Steve Scalise, Peter Roskam and Marlin Stutzman for majority whip, McCarthy's old post. Scalise and Roskam are the two favorites in that race, but Stutzman is in a position to play a spoiler role since neither Scalise nor Roskam appear to have majority support for the first ballot.
McCarthy is popular amongst his colleagues, but has often proved ineffective as a vote counter—it was his whip operation that failed to deliver the votes House Speaker John Boehner needed for his "Plan B" on the debt ceiling, for example. McCarthy also is known for some baffling malapropisms such as:
One of the most important I think that can happen today, Lynn Jenkins’s bill, an idea of fairness, the idea that when you look across the street from the Capitol, you see the Supreme Court, you see the statue sitting there, blinded in the process with the weights in- between.So McCarthy might not be able to count votes, and he might not be that articulate of a spokesman, but he does have awesome hair, and his colleagues do like him, at least they like him enough to reward him with Eric Cantor's old job. Congratulations, sir!
1:03 PM PT: In something of a surprise, Steve Scalise—who is considered to be more conservative than Pete Roskam, who was Kevin McCarthy's whip—won on the first ballot in the race to succeed McCarthy.