My hunch is that McCarthy won’t get the nod (but stay tuned!). Instead, we’ll see Scalise–but I could be very wrong in a couple of hours. What I do find interesting is the political calculus of the roughly twenty Republicans who are in strong Biden districts. Right now, I think they’re best off caucusing with Republicans, but if this insanity continues (and it might all be over at 1pm today), they have to start asking themselves if they’re better off as independents who caucus with the Democrats. After all, their odds of being re-elected aren’t great to begin with, and switching might be a way to remain in office.
It doesn’t help that one of the sticking points in the Republican negotiations appears to be retaining the ability to use the debt ceiling as a hostage, which would destroy the full faith and credit of the U.S. Not only would that be a global and national catastrophe, but it also would create a constitutional crisis (the president would simultaneously be unable and be required to make good on all public debts). They definitely wouldn’t want to be saddled with this.
If the impasse continues for a few more days, I think Jeffries has a non-negligible chance of becoming Speaker.