Hakeem Jeffries, Historic Loser

2,872 votes against (and counting)

January 6, 2023

It's official: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) is one of the biggest losers in the history of American politics. Nancy Pelosi's handpicked successor has now received more lifetime votes against him in speaker of the House elections than any Democratic politician since Rep. Finis J. Garrett (D., Tenn.), who lost 11 consecutive speaker elections between 1923 and 1927.

As of Friday afternoon, a total of 2,872 votes were cast against Jeffries through four days and 13 ballots with more votes to come later in the day. By the time a speaker is finally elected, Jeffries may well exceed 3,000 votes cast against him, which would constitute a degree of Democratic political failure not seen since Hillary Clinton's humiliating defeat in the 2016 presidential election.

Garrett, born in 1875, had a total of 2,429 votes cast against him during his failed bids for the speakership nearly a century ago. Most of those votes came in 1923, when the House needed nine ballots over three days to elect a speaker. Garrett was one of just two House Democrats in the 20th century to serve as party leader but never as speaker of the House. What a loser.

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