GOP sees McCarthy moving up -- if GOP loses the House

The California Republican would need just a majority vote of the GOP conference and not 218 votes — a threshold he couldn’t meet during his failed bid for Speaker in 2015 — to become minority leader.

And that threshold is within reach for someone considered President Trump’s closest ally on the Hill, who regularly travels the country raising cash for his colleagues, several GOP lawmakers said.

“Hopefully in November, we’re talking about a third term for Speaker Ryan,” said one House GOP lawmaker. “But if that’s not the case, I think Kevin’s the guy, and that comes from a more conservative member.”