When Rep. Nancy Pelosi lost 19 Democrats on Wednesday’s vote to be House speaker, it marked the worst showing for a party’s nominee in more than 80 years.
Mrs. Pelosi won the support of 173 Democrats, but 18 others voted for someone else and one voted “present.” Rep. John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, won the vote with the support of all 241 Republicans who voted.
According to figures from the House historian’s office and the Congressional Research Service, the last time a party’s nominee for speaker lost that much support was in 1923. On the first ballot that year the GOP’s nominee, Frederick H. Gillett, saw 23 lawmakers support other Republicans. Mr. Gillett still ended up winning the speakership on the ninth ballot.