Part of McCarthy’s support is out of loyalty, members and aides say, but it is also out of recognition that deposing Boehner would do little to change the difficult underlying dynamics of the House GOP.

“If John Boehner decided tomorrow he’s had enough of these guys and said, ‘Fine, I’m out of here,’ nothing changes,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “It would just take a few months and a few radio shows, a few talk shows, and they’d be attacking whoever the new speaker is.”

And Nunes, a close McCarthy ally, said his friend would not want to assume the speakership under those circumstances: “He doesn’t want anything to do with this mess.”

The lack of an obvious successor hasn’t stopped many hard-liners from openly contemplating Boehner’s departure.