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Speaker front-runner? Poll finds Jim Jordan has slight lead among Republicans

In the race to succeed House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., conservative Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, holds a slight lead among Republicans.

A new poll by The Economist/YouGov found Jordan is favored by 18 percent of those polled, followed by House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., at 16 percent. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., came in at third place with 8 percent support.

However, 45 percent of those polled said they were still undecided about who should succeed Ryan as speaker. Only 1 percent said it should be someone else.

Jordan announced his candidacy for House speaker in July and is seen as the consensus choice for the job among the conservative grassroots. Majority Leader McCarthy enjoys the endorsement of the establishment and Speaker Ryan, however, and President Donald Trump has signaled his support for McCarthy. Scalise has publicly deferred to McCarthy and is unlikely to make a challenge for the job unless McCarthy shows signs of vulnerability.

The succession for House leadership is a question that will be determined after the midterm elections. Conservatives need to prepare to take on the establishment for leadership in the House Republican conference. This will be the most important fight to determine how the last two years of President Trump's first term will play out in Congress. If Democrats take control of the House, Republican leadership will need to be an effective opposition, and a fighter like Jordan is a better man for the hour than a grandstander like McCarthy.

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