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Hakeem Jeffries won most speaker votes — but that doesn’t mean he can win gavel

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries sits on the floor as he is nominated for the Democrat candidate for Speaker of the House as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on a new Speaker at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 17, in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, with the full backing of the Democratic party, won 212 votes, more than the 200 cast for GOP Rep. Jim Jordan — but that doesn’t mean Jeffries wins the gavel.

Any candidate must win 50%, plus one, of the votes from all House members present and voting. The current enrollment of the House is 433, so 217 votes are necessary if every member is present.

That means, with a Republican majority in the House, Jeffries would need to convince at least five Republicans to cross the aisle and cast their vote for the Democratic representative.

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That magic number, though, could change depending on absences in the House.

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