List of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives elections

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An election for speaker of the United States House of Representatives is held when the House first convenes after a general election for its two-year term, or when a sitting speaker dies, resigns, or is removed from the position. The speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House, and is simultaneously the body's presiding officer, the de facto leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head.[1]

A speaker election is generally held at least every two years; the House has elected a Speaker 129 times since the office was created in 1789.[2] Traditionally, each political party's caucus/conference selects a candidate for speaker from among its senior leaders prior to the vote, and the majority party's nominee is elected. Prior to 1839, the House elected its speaker by paper ballot, but since, on all but three occasions, has done so by roll call vote.[1] A majority of votes cast (as opposed to a majority of the full membership of the House) is necessary to elect a speaker. By House precedents, votes of present are not to be included in the official vote total, only votes cast for a person by name are; even so, they have been counted on several occasions.[3]

If no candidate receives a majority vote, then the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected. Multiple rounds of voting have been necessary 16 times since 1789, almost all before the American Civil War. In the 20th century only one election went to multiple ballots (in 1923).[2] In the 21st century, it has happened twice in the same year, in January and in October 2023.

Representatives are not restricted to voting for the candidate nominated by their party, but generally do. Additionally, as the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly state that the speaker must be an incumbent member of the House, it is permissible for representatives to vote for someone who is not a member of the House at the time, and non-members have received a few votes in various speaker elections over the past several years. Nevertheless, every person elected speaker has been a member.[4]

Altogether, 56 people have served as speaker over the past 235 years; 32 of them served multiple terms and seven of those served nonconsecutive terms. Sam Rayburn holds the record for electoral victories, with 10. He led the House from September 1940 to January 1947, January 1949 to January 1953, and January 1955 to November 1961 (a tenure totaling 17 years).[5]

Elections from 1789 to 1799[edit]

April 1789[edit]

The first-ever election for speaker of the House took place on April 1, 1789, at the start of the 1st Congress, following the 1788–89 elections in which candidates who supported the new Constitution won a majority of the seats. Frederick Muhlenberg, who had promoted the ratification of the Constitution, received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[6] Though political parties did not yet exist, political factions, from which they evolved, formed almost immediately after Congress began its work. Those who supported the Washington administration were referred to as "Pro-Administration", while those in opposition were known as "Anti-Administration".[7]

1789 election for speaker[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Pro-Administration Frederick Muhlenberg (PA at-large) 23 76.67
    Others 7 23.33
Total votes 30 100
Votes necessary 16 >50

October 1791[edit]

An election for speaker took place on October 24, 1791, at the start of the 2nd Congress, following the 1790–91 elections in which Pro-Administration candidates won a majority of the seats. Jonathan Trumbull Jr. received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[9]

1791 election for speaker[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Pro-Administration Jonathan Trumbull Jr. (CT at-large) Majority [a]00
Total votes (?) 100
Votes necessary (?) >50

December 1793[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 2, 1793, at the start of the 3rd Congress, following the 1792–93 elections, in which anti-administration candidates won a majority of the seats. The faction was unable, however, to turn this numerical advantage into victory in the election for speaker, as several of them were not in attendance for the vote. Consequently, several Anti-Administration members voted strategically for former speaker Frederick Muhlenberg, a Pro-Administration moderate, who received a majority of the votes cast in the 3rd ballot and was elected speaker. This was the first speaker of the House election to be contested primarily on a partisan basis.[10][11]

1793 election for speaker[8]
December 2, 1793 – 1st ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Pro-Administration Theodore Sedgwick (MA 2) 24 36.36
Pro-Administration Frederick Muhlenberg (PA at-large) 21 31.82
Anti-Administration Abraham Baldwin (GA at-large) 14 21.22
    Others 7 10.60
Total votes: 66 100
Votes necessary: 34 >50
December 2, 1793 – 3rd Ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Pro-Administration Frederick Muhlenberg (PA at-large) 37 [b]
Pro-Administration Theodore Sedgwick (MA 2) 27
    Others (?)
Total votes: 64+ 100
Votes necessary: ~34 >50

December 1795[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1795, at the start of the 4th Congress, following the 1794–95 elections. During the preceding Congress, the Pro-Administration faction coalesced into the Federalist Party, and the Anti-Administration faction into the Democratic-Republican Party. Though Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats in these elections, several joined with the Federalists to elect Jonathan Dayton speaker on the first ballot.[10]

1795 election for speaker[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Federalist Jonathan Dayton (NJ at-large) 46 58.23
Democratic-Republican Frederick Muhlenberg (PA 2) (incumbent) 31 39.24
    Others 2 2.53
Total votes 79 100
Votes necessary 40 >50

May 1797[edit]

An election for speaker took place on May 15, 1797, at the start[c] of the 5th Congress, following the 1796–97 elections in which Federalists won a majority of the seats. In a near-unanimous vote, Jonathan Dayton was re-elected speaker.[10]

1797 election for speaker[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Federalist Jonathan Dayton (NJ at-large) (incumbent) 78 97.50
Federalist George Dent (MD 1) 1 1.25
Democratic-Republican Abraham Baldwin (GA at-large) 1 1.25
Total votes 80 100
Votes necessary 41 >50

December 1799[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 2, 1799, at the start of the 6th Congress, following the 1798–99 elections in which Federalists won a majority of the seats. Theodore Sedgwick received a majority of the votes cast in the 2nd ballot and was elected speaker.[10]

1799 election for speaker[13]
December 2, 1799 – 1st Ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Federalist Theodore Sedgwick (MA 1) 42 49.41
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 5) 27 31.76
Federalist George Dent (MD 1) 13 15.30
Federalist John Rutledge Jr. (SC 2) 2 2.36
Democratic-Republican Thomas Sumter (SC 4) 1 1.17
Total votes: 85 100
Votes necessary: 43 >50
December 2, 1799 – 2nd ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Federalist Theodore Sedgwick (MA 1) 44 51.16
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 5) 38 46.51
Federalist George Dent (MD 1) 3 1.75
Federalist John Rutledge Jr. (SC 2) 1 0.58
Total votes: 86 100
Votes necessary: 44 >50

Elections from 1801 to 1899[edit]

December 1801[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1801, at the start of the 7th Congress, following the 1800–01 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Nathaniel Macon received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[10]

1801 election for speaker[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 5) (incumbent) 53 65.43
Federalist James A. Bayard (DE at-large) 26 32.10
Federalist John C. Smith (CT at-large) 2 2.47
Total votes 81 100
Votes necessary 41 >50

October 1803[edit]

An election for speaker took place on October 17, 1803, at the start[c] of the 8th Congress, following the 1802–03 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Nathaniel Macon received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[10]

1803 election for speaker[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 6) (incumbent) 76 71.03
Democratic-Republican Joseph Varnum (MA 4) 30 28.04
Democratic-Republican John Dawson (VA 10) 1 0.93
Total votes 107 100
Votes necessary 054 >50

December 1805[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 2, 1805, at the start of the 9th Congress, following the 1804–05 elections in which the Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Nathaniel Macon received a majority of the votes cast in the 3rd ballot and was re-elected speaker.[10] A number of Democratic-Republicans did not support Macon's bid for a third term as he had broken ranks with President Jefferson and aligned himself with the splinter Quids faction.[14]

1805 election for speaker[8]
December 2, 1805 – 1st ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 6) (incumbent) 51 48.58
Democratic-Republican Joseph Varnum (MA 4) 26 24.76
Federalist John C. Smith (CT at-large) 16 15.24
Democratic-Republican John Dawson (VA 10) 10 9.52
Democratic-Republican Andrew Gregg (PA 5) 2 1.90
Total votes: 105 100
Votes necessary: 053 >50
December 2, 1805 – 3rd ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 6) (incumbent) 58 54.71
Democratic-Republican Joseph Varnum (MA 4) 23 21.70
Federalist John C. Smith (CT at-large) 18 16.98
Democratic-Republican John Dawson (VA 10) 3 2.83
Democratic-Republican Andrew Gregg (PA 5) 2 1.89
    Others 2 1.89
Total votes: 106 100
Votes necessary: 054 >50

October 1807[edit]

An election for speaker took place on October 26, 1807, at the start[c] of the 10th Congress, following the 1806–07 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Joseph B. Varnum received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[10]

1807 election for speaker[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Joseph Varnum (MA 4) 59 50.43
Federalist Charles Goldsborough (MD 8) 17 14.53
Democratic-Republican Burwell Bassett (VA 12) 17 14.53
Democratic-Republican Josiah Masters (NY 10) 8 6.84
Democratic-Republican Thomas Blount (NC 3) 7 5.98
    Others 9 7.69
Total votes 117 100
Votes necessary 059 >50

May 1809[edit]

An election for speaker took place on May 22, 1809, at the start of the 11th Congress, following the 1808–09 elections in which the Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. On the first ballot, Joseph Varnum received 60 of the 118 votes cast for individuals. In addition to these, two ballots were returned blank. The question arose over whether or not the blank ballots counted. If they were, then the total number of votes cast would be 120, making the threshold for election 61. If they were not, then the threshold would be 60 (of 118), thus making Varnum the winner. After a brief debate a motion to proceed with a second ballot was approved. Varnum received a majority of the votes cast in the 2nd ballot and was re-elected speaker.[15]

1809 election for speaker[16]
May 22, 1809 – 1st Ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Joseph Varnum (MA 4) (incumbent) 60 50.00
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 6) 36 30.00
Federalist Timothy Pitkin (CT at-large) 20 16.67
Democratic-Republican Roger Nelson (MD 4) 1 0.83
Federalist Charles Goldsborough (MD 8) 1 0.83
    Blank 2 1.67
Total votes: 120 100
Votes necessary: 061 >50
May 22, 1809 – 2nd ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Joseph Varnum (MA 4) (incumbent) 65 54.62
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 6) 45 37.82
Federalist Timothy Pitkin (CT at-large) 6 5.04
Democratic-Republican Benjamin Howard (KY 5) 1 0.84
Democratic-Republican Roger Nelson (MD 4) 1 0.84
Federalist Charles Goldsborough (MD 8) 1 0.84
Total votes: 119 100
Votes necessary: 060 >50

November 1811[edit]

An election for speaker took place on November 4, 1811, at the start[c] of the 12th Congress, following the 1810–11 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Henry Clay, a freshman congressman, received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[17] This marks the only time in American History a Speaker of the House was elected on their first ever day on its floor.

1811 election for speaker[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Henry Clay (KY 2) 75 63.03
Democratic-Republican William W. Bibb (GA at-large) 38 31.93
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 6) 3 2.52
Democratic-Republican Hugh Nelson (VA 21) 2 1.68
Democratic-Republican Burwell Bassett (VA 12) 1 0.84
Total votes 119 100
Votes necessary 060 >50

May 1813[edit]

An election for speaker took place on May 24, 1813, at the start of the 13th Congress, following the 1812–13 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Henry Clay received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[17]

1813 election for speaker[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Henry Clay (KY 5) (incumbent) 89 60.13
Federalist Timothy Pitkin (CT at-large) 54 36.49
    Others 5 3.38
Total votes 148 100
Votes necessary 075 >50

January 1814[edit]

On January 19, 1814, during the third session of the 13th Congress, Henry Clay resigned as speaker to accept a commission from President James Madison to serve as a negotiator for a peace agreement to end the War of 1812.[17] Later that day, an intra-term election for a new speaker was held. Langdon Cheves received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[20]

1814 special election for speaker[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Langdon Cheves (SC 1) 94 56.97
Democratic-Republican Felix Grundy (TN 5) 59 35.76
    Others 12 7.27
Total votes 165 100
Votes necessary 83 >50

December 1815[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 4, 1815, at the start of the 14th Congress following the 1814–15 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Elected again to the House, former speaker Henry Clay received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[17]

1815 election for speaker[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Henry Clay (KY 2) 87 71.31
Democratic-Republican Hugh Nelson (VA 22) 13 10.65
Federalist Timothy Pitkin (CT at-large) 9 7.38
Democratic-Republican Nathaniel Macon (NC 6) 7 5.74
Federalist Joseph Lewis Jr. (VA 8) 2 1.64
Federalist Timothy Pickering (MA 3) 1 0.82
    Blank 3 2.46
Total votes 122 100
Votes necessary 62 >50

December 1817[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 1, 1817, at the start of the 15th Congress following the 1816–17 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. In a near-unanimous vote, Henry Clay was re-elected speaker.[17][23]

1817 election for speaker[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Henry Clay (KY 2) (incumbent) 143 95.33
Democratic-Republican Samuel Smith (MD 5) 6 4.00
    Blank 1 0.67
Total votes 150 100
Votes necessary 76 >50

December 1819[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 6, 1819, at the start of the 16th Congress following the 1818–19 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. In a near-unanimous vote, Henry Clay was re-elected speaker.[17][23]

1819 election for speaker[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Henry Clay (KY 2) (incumbent) 147 94.84
    Others 8 5.16
Total votes 155 100
Votes necessary 78 >50

November 1820[edit]

In October 1820, between the first and the second session of the 16th Congress, Henry Clay resigned as speaker so he could return to his private law practice; he kept his House seat however, until his term ended the following March (he had not run for re-election in 1820).[17] Consequently, an intra-term election for a new speaker was held on November 13–15, 1820. Coming as it did less than a year after the rancorous Missouri statehood debate, the choice of Clay's successor became mired in the continuing national debate between Northerners and Southerners over the expansion of slavery into territories and future states. The chief candidate of Northern antislavery members, John W. Taylor of New York, finally received a majority of the votes cast in the 22nd ballot and was elected speaker.[26] In addition to discord over slavery, Taylor's path to victory was made even more difficult by a division within that state's congressional delegation between supporters of Governor DeWitt Clinton and those who opposed him (known as the Bucktails).[23]

1820 special election for speaker[27]
November 13, 1820 – 1st ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican John W. Taylor (NY 11) 40 30.30
Democratic-Republican William Lowndes (SC 2) 34 25.75
Democratic-Republican Samuel Smith (MD 5) 27 20.45
Federalist John Sergeant (PA 1) 18 13.65
Democratic-Republican Hugh Nelson (VA 22) 10 7.58
    Others 3 2.27
Total votes 132 100
Votes necessary 67 >50
November 15, 1820 – 22nd ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican John W. Taylor (NY 11) 76 51.35
Democratic-Republican William Lowndes (SC 2) 44 29.73
Democratic-Republican Samuel Smith (MD 5) 27 18.25
    Others 1 0.67
Total votes 148 100
Votes necessary 75 >50

December 1821[edit]

An election for speaker took place December 3–4, 1821, at the start of the 17th Congress, following the 1820–21 elections in which the Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Philip P. Barbour received a majority of the votes cast in the 12th ballot and was elected speaker.[15]

1821 election for speaker[28]
December 3, 1821 – 1st ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican John W. Taylor (NY 11) (incumbent) 60 37.26
Democratic-Republican Caesar A. Rodney (DE at-large) 45 27.95
Federalist Louis McLane (DE at-large) 29 18.01
Democratic-Republican Samuel Smith (MD 5) 20 12.42
Democratic-Republican Hugh Nelson (VA 22) 5 3.11
    Others 2 1.24
Total votes: 161 100
Votes necessary: 081 >50
December 4, 1821 – 12th ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Philip P. Barbour (VA 11) 88 51.16
Democratic-Republican John W. Taylor (NY 11) (incumbent) 67 38.95
Democratic-Republican Henry Baldwin (PA 14) 6 3.49
Democratic-Republican Samuel Smith (MD 5) 4 2.33
Democratic-Republican Caesar A. Rodney (DE at-large) 3 1.74
    Others 4 2.33
Total votes: 172 100
Votes necessary: 087 >50

December 1823[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 1, 1823, at the start of the 18th Congress following the 1822–23 elections in which Democratic-Republicans won a majority of the seats. Elected again to the House, former speaker Henry Clay received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[17]

1823 election for speaker[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic-Republican Henry Clay (KY 3) 139 76.80
Democratic-Republican Philip P. Barbour (VA 11) (incumbent) 42 23.20
Total votes 181 100
Votes necessary 91 >50

December 1825[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 5, 1825, at the start of the 19th Congress, following the 1824–25 elections and the 1825 presidential contingent election. In the aftermath of these elections, the Democratic-Republican Party rapidly splintered between those who supported the new president, John Quincy Adams, and those who supported Andrew Jackson. Representatives who supported Adams held a slim majority in the House. Former speaker John W. Taylor received a majority of the votes cast in the 2nd ballot and was elected speaker.[15]

1825 election for speaker[30]
December 5, 1825 – 1st ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Adams John W. Taylor (NY 17) 89 45.88
Adams John W. Campbell (OH 5) 41 21.13
Jackson Louis McLane (DE at-large) 36 18.55
Jackson Andrew Stevenson (VA 16) 17 8.76
Adams Lewis Condict (NJ at-large) 6 3.10
    Others 5 2.58
Total votes: 194 100
Votes necessary: 098 >50
December 5, 1825 – 2nd ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Adams John W. Taylor (NY 17) 99 51.30
Jackson Louis McLane (DE at-large) 44 22.80
Adams John W. Campbell (OH 5) 42 21.76
Jackson Andrew Stevenson (VA 16) 5 2.59
    Others 3 1.55
Total votes: 193 100
Votes necessary: 097 >50

December 1827[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 3, 1827, at the start of the 20th Congress following the 1826–27 elections in which Jacksonians, candidates supporting Andrew Jackson in opposition to President John Quincy Adams won a majority of the seats. Andrew Stevenson won a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[31]

1827 election for speaker[32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Jacksonian Andrew Stevenson (VA 16) 104 50.73
Anti-Jacksonian John W. Taylor (NY 17) (incumbent) 94 45.86
Jacksonian Philip P. Barbour (VA 11) 4 1.95
    Others 3 1.46
Total votes 205 100
Votes necessary 103 >50

December 1829[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1829, at the start of the 21st Congress following the 1828–29 elections in which Jacksonians, candidates supporting now-President Andrew Jackson won a majority of the seats. Andrew Stevenson won a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[31]

1829 election for speaker[33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Jacksonian Andrew Stevenson (VA 16) (incumbent) 152 79.58
    Others 39 20.42
Total votes 191 100
Votes necessary 96 >50

December 1831[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 5, 1831, at the start of the 22nd Congress following the 1830–31 elections in which Jacksonians won a majority of the seats. Andrew Stevenson won a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[31]

1831 election for speaker[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Jacksonian Andrew Stevenson (VA 16) (incumbent) 98 50.26
Jacksonian Joel B. Sutherland (PA 1) 54 27.69
Anti-Jacksonian John W. Taylor (NY 17) 18 9.23
Jacksonian Charles A. Wickliffe (KY 9) 15 7.69
Anti-Jacksonian Lewis Condict (NJ 1) 4 2.05
    Others 6 3.08
Total votes 195 100
Votes necessary 98 >50

December 1833[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 2, 1833, at the start of the 23rd Congress following the 1832–33 elections in which Jacksonians won a majority of the seats. Andrew Stevenson won a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[35]

1833 election for speaker[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Jacksonian Andrew Stevenson (VA 11) (incumbent) 142 65.44
Anti-Jacksonian Lewis Williams (NC 13) 39 17.97
Anti-Jacksonian Edward Everett (MA 4) 15 6.91
Jacksonian John Bell (TN 7) 4 1.84
    Others 9 4.15
    Blank 8 3.69
Total votes 217 100
Votes necessary 109 >50

June 1834[edit]

In June 1834, Andrew Stevenson resigned as speaker of the House and from Congress to accept President Andrew Jackson's nomination as the U.S. minister to the United Kingdom.[37] Consequently, an intra-term election for a new speaker was held on June 2, 1834, during the 23rd Congress. The president favored James K. Polk for the post, but when members of his "Kitchen Cabinet" went to Capitol Hill and lobbied on Polk's behalf, they were rebuffed. Perceived as an encroachment upon a constitutional prerogative of the House, the effort to influence the vote splintered Jacksonian party unity and energized the opposition. John Bell ultimately received a majority of the votes cast in the 10th ballot and was elected speaker.[38][d]

1834 special election for speaker[40]
June 2, 1834 – 1st ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Jacksonian Richard H. Wilde (GA at-large) 64 29.09
Jacksonian James K. Polk (TN 9) 42 19.09
Jacksonian Joel B. Sutherland (PA 1) 34 15.45
Jacksonian John Bell (TN 7) 30 13.64
Jacksonian Jesse Speight (NC 4) 18 8.18
Jacksonian James M. Wayne (GA at-large) 15 6.82
Anti-Jacksonian Lewis Williams (NC 13) 4 1.82
Anti-Jacksonian Edward Everett (MA 4) 3 1.36
    Others 6 2.73
    Blank 4 1.82
Total votes: 220 100
Votes necessary: 111 >50
June 2, 1834 – 10th ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Jacksonian John Bell (TN 7) 114 52.29
Jacksonian James K. Polk (TN 9) 78 35.78
Jacksonian Richard H. Wilde (GA at-large) 11 5.05
Jacksonian James M. Wayne (GA at-large) 6 2.75
Jacksonian Joel B. Sutherland (PA 1) 2 0.92
Jacksonian Jesse Speight (NC 4) 1 0.46
    Blank 6 2.75
Total votes: 218 100
Votes necessary: 110 >50

December 1835[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1835, at the start of the 24th Congress, following the 1834–35 elections in which Jacksonians won a majority of the seats. James K. Polk won a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[41]

1835 election for speaker[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Jacksonian James K. Polk (TN 9) 132 58.67
Anti-Jacksonian John Bell (TN 7) (incumbent) 84 37.33
Anti-Jacksonian Charles F. Mercer (VA 14) 3 1.33
Anti-Masonic John Quincy Adams (MA 12) 2 0.89
Anti-Jacksonian Francis Granger (NY 26) 1 0.44
    Blank 3 1.33
Total votes 225 100
Votes necessary 113 >50

September 1837[edit]

An election for speaker took place on September 4, 1837, at the start[c] of the 25th Congress, following the 1836–37 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. James K. Polk won a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[41]

1837 election for speaker[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James K. Polk (TN 9) (incumbent) 116 51.79
Whig John Bell (TN 7) 103 45.98
    Others 5 2.23
Total votes 224 100
Votes necessary 113 >50

December 1839[edit]

An election for speaker took place December 14–16, 1839, at the start of the 26th Congress, following the 1838–39 elections in which the Democrats won a slim majority of the seats. Balloting was delayed for two weeks as Democrats and Whigs contested the seating of five representatives-elect from New Jersey,[44] commencing only after the House resolved not to seat either delegation immediately. Once underway, the narrowly divided House was unable to make a quick choice. Finally, on the 11th ballot, Robert M. T. Hunter received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[15]

1839 election for speaker
December 14, 1839 – 1st ballot[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. Jones (VA 3) 113 48.09
Whig John Bell (TN 7) 102 43.40
Whig William Dawson (GA at-large) 11 4.68
Democratic Francis W. Pickens (SC 5) 5 2.13
Democratic Dixon H. Lewis (AL 4) 3 1.28
Conservative George W. Hopkins (VA 18) 1 0.42
Total votes: 235 100
Votes necessary: 118 >50
December 16, 1839 – 11th ballot[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Robert M. T. Hunter (VA 9) 119 51.29
Democratic John W. Jones (VA 3) 55 23.71
Democratic George M. Keim (PA 9) 24 10.35
Democratic Zadok Casey (IL 2) 10 4.31
Democratic Francis W. Pickens (SC 5) 9 3.88
Democratic Francis Thomas (MD 6) 3 1.29
    Others 12 5.17
Total votes: 232 100
Votes necessary: 117 >50

May 1841[edit]

An election for speaker took place on May 31, 1841, at the start[c] of the 27th Congress, following the 1840–41 elections in which Whigs won a majority of the seats. John White won a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[47]

1841 election for speaker[48]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig John White (KY 9) 121 54.75
Democratic John W. Jones (VA 3) 84 38.01
Whig Henry A. Wise (VA 8) 8 3.62
Whig Joseph Lawrence (PA 21) 5 2.26
Whig George N. Briggs (MA 7) 1 0.45
Democratic Nathan Clifford (ME 1) 1 0.45
Whig William C. Johnson (MD 5) 1 0.45
Total votes 221 100
Votes necessary 111 >50

December 1843[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 4, 1843, at the start of the 28th United States Congress following the 1842–43 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John W. Jones received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.

1843 election for speaker[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. Jones (VA 6) 128 68.09
Whig John White (KY 6) (incumbent) 59 31.38
Democratic William Wilkins (PA 21) 1 0.53
Total votes 188 100
Votes necessary 95 >50

December 1845[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 1, 1845, at the start of the 29th United States Congress following the 1844–45 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John W. Davis received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[50]

1845 election for speaker[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. Davis (IN 6) 119 56.67
Whig Samuel F. Vinton (OH 12) 72 34.29
Democratic Moses Norris (NH at-large) 9 4.28
American William S. Miller (NY 3) 5 2.38
    Others 5 2.38
Total votes 210 100
Votes necessary 106 >50

December 1847[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 6, 1847, at the start of the 30th Congress, following the 1846–47 elections in which the Whigs won a slim majority of the seats. Robert C. Winthrop received a majority of the votes cast in the 3rd ballot and was elected speaker.[15] The election became a multi-ballot affair when a few "Conscience Whigs" initially refused to support Winthrop because he rejected their demand for a pledge to constitute key House committees so as to favor the reporting of antislavery legislation.[52]

1847 election for speaker[53]
December 6, 1847 – 1st ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Robert C. Winthrop (MA 1) 108 49.09
Democratic Linn Boyd (KY 1) 61 27.73
Democratic Robert McClelland (MI 1) 23 10.45
Democratic John A. McClernard (IL 2) 11 5.00
Democratic James McKay (NC 6) 5 2.27
Democratic Howell Cobb (GA 6) 3 1.37
Whig James Wilson (NH 3) 2 0.91
    Others 7 3.18
Total votes: 220 100
Votes necessary: 111 >50
December 6, 1847 – 3rd ballot
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Robert C. Winthrop (MA 1) 110 50.46
Democratic Linn Boyd (KY 1) 64 29.36
Democratic Robert McClelland (MI 1) 14 6.42
Democratic John A. McClernard (IL 2) 8 3.67
Democratic Robert Rhett (SC 7) 7 3.21
Democratic Armistead Burt (SC 5) 4 1.83
Democratic Howell Cobb (GA 6) 4 1.83
Whig James Wilson (NH 3) 2 0.92
    Others 5 2.30
Total votes: 218 100
Votes necessary: 110 >50

December 1849[edit]

An election for speaker took place December 3–22, 1849, at the start of the 31st Congress, following the 1848–49 elections in which the Democrats won a slim majority of the seats. Divisions within both the Democratic Party and Whig Party over slavery plus the presence of the new Single-issue antislavery Free Soil Party led to pandemonium in the House and a protracted struggle to elect a speaker. After 59 ballots without a majority choice, the House adopted a plurality rule stating that, if after three more ballots no-one garnered a majority of the votes, the person receiving the highest number of votes on the next ensuing ballot would be declared to have been chosen speaker.[15] On the decisive 63rd ballot, Howell Cobb received the most votes, 102 votes out of 221, or nine less than a majority, and was elected speaker.[54] Altogether, 94 individual congressmen received votes in this election.[55]

1849 election for speaker
December 3, 1849 – 1st ballot[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Howell Cobb (GA 6) 103 46.61
Whig Robert C. Winthrop (MA 1) (incumbent) 96 43.44
Free Soil David Wilmot (PA 12) 8 3.62
Whig Meredith P. Gentry (TN 7) 6 2.71
Whig Horace Mann (MA 8) 2 0.91
    Others 6 2.71
Total votes: 221 100
Votes necessary: 111 >50
December 22, 1849 – 63rd ballot[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Howell Cobb (GA 6) 102 46.16
Whig Robert C. Winthrop (MA 1) (incumbent) 99 44.80
Free Soil David Wilmot (PA 12) 8 3.62
Whig Charles S. Morehead (KY 8) 4 1.81
Democratic William Strong (PA 9) 3 1.34
    Others 5 2.27
Total votes: 221 100
Votes necessary: Plurality[e]

December 1851[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 1, 1851, at the start of the 32nd Congress following the 1850–51 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Linn Boyd received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.

1851 election for speaker[58]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Linn Boyd (KY 1) 118 55.40
Whig Edward Stanly (NC 8) 21 9.86
Whig Joseph R. Chandler (PA 2) 20 9.39
Whig Thaddeus Stevens (PA 8) 16 7.51
Democratic Thomas H. Bayly (VA 7) 8 3.75
Whig John L. Taylor (OH 8) 6 2.82
Whig Alexander Evans (MD 5) 4 1.88
Democratic Thomas S. Bocock (VA 4) 4 1.88
Whig Meredith P. Gentry (TN 7) 3 1.41
Unionist Junius Hillyer (GA 6) 2 0.94
    Others 11 5.16
Total votes 213 100
Votes necessary 107 >50

December 1853[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 5, 1853, at the start of the 33rd Congress following the 1852–53 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Linn Boyd received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1853 election for speaker[59]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Linn Boyd (KY 1) (incumbent) 143 65.90
Whig Joseph R. Chandler (PA 2) 35 6.13
Whig Lewis D. Campbell (OH 8) 11 5.07
Whig Presley Ewing (KY 3) 7 3.23
Whig Solomon G. Haven (NY 32) 6 2.77
Democratic James L. Orr (SC 5) 4 1.84
Whig William Preston (KY 7) 3 1.38
Whig John G. Miller (MO 5) 3 1.38
Whig Thomas M. Howe (PA 22) 2 0.92
    Others 3 1.38
Total votes 217 100
Votes necessary 109 >50

December 1855 – February 1856[edit]

An election for speaker took place over the course of two months, December 3, 1855, through February 2, 1856, at the start of the 34th Congress, following the 1854–55 elections in which candidates primarily in Northern states running on various fusion tickets—included members from the Whig, Free Soil and American parties, along with members of the nascent Republican Party—grouped together under the Opposition Party label, won a majority of the seats. This new, but transitional, party sprang-up amid the fallout from the Kansas–Nebraska Act (approved by Congress in mid 1854), which had sparked violence over slavery in Kansas and hardened sectional positions on the subject.[60] Personal views on slavery drove members' words and actions during this protracted electoral contest. After 129 ballots without a majority choice, the House once again adopted a plurality rule to break the deadlock. On the decisive 133rd ballot, Nathaniel P. Banks[f] received the most votes, 103 votes out of 214, or five less than a majority, and was elected speaker.[54][60] A record 135 individual congressmen (nearly 58% of the House's membership), received votes in this, the longest speaker election in House history.[55]

1855–56 election for speaker
December 3, 1855 – 1st ballot[60][62]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William A. Richardson (IL 5) 74 32.89
Opposition Lewis D. Campbell (OH 3) 53 23.56
American Humphrey Marshall (KY 7) 30 13.34
American Nathaniel P. Banks (MA 7) 21 9.33
Opposition Henry M. Fuller (PA 11) 17 7.56
Opposition Alexander Pennington (NJ 5) 7 3.11
Opposition Aaron Harlan (OH 7) 3 1.33
Democratic John Wheeler (NY 6) 3 1.33
American Benjamin B. Thurston (RI 2) 3 1.33
Opposition Israel Washburn Jr. (ME 5) 2 0.89
Opposition William A. Howard (MI 1) 2 0.89
    Others 10 4.44
Total votes: 225 100
Votes necessary: 113 >50
February 2, 1856 – 133rd ballot[60][63]
Party Candidate Votes %
American Nathaniel P. Banks (MA 7) 103 48.13
Democratic William Aiken Jr. (SC 2) 100 46.73
Opposition Henry M. Fuller (PA 11) 6 2.80
Opposition Lewis D. Campbell (OH 3) 4 1.87
Democratic Daniel Wells Jr. (WI 1) 1 0.47
Total votes: 214 100
Votes necessary: Plurality[g]

December 1857[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1857, at the start of the 35th Congress, following the 1856–57 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. James L. Orr received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.

1857 election for speaker[65]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James L. Orr (SC 5) 128 56.89
Republican Galusha A. Grow (PA 14) 84 37.33
American Felix Zollicoffer (TN 8) 3 1.33
Republican Lewis D. Campbell (OH 3) 3 1.33
American H. Winter Davis (MD 4) 2 0.90
American James B. Ricaud (MD 2) 2 0.90
American Humphrey Marshall (KY 7) 1 0.44
Republican Francis P. Blair Jr. (MO 1) 1 0.44
Republican Valentine B. Horton (OH 11) 1 0.44
Total votes 225 100
Votes necessary 113 >50

December 1859 – February 1860[edit]

An election for speaker took place over the course of eight weeks, December 5, 1859, through February 1, 1860, at the start of the 36th Congress, following the 1858–59 elections in which the Republicans won a plurality of the seats. William Pennington, a freshman congressman, received a majority of the votes cast in the 44th ballot and was elected speaker.[66] In total, 90 representatives received at least one vote during the election.[55] The bitter election dispute deepened the rift between slave states and free states and helped push Southern political leaders further toward secession.[67]

1859–60 election for speaker
December 5, 1859 – 1st ballot[68]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thomas S. Bocock (VA 5) 86 37.40
Republican John Sherman (OH 13) 66 28.70
Republican Galusha A. Grow (PA 14) 43 18.70
Opposition Alexander Boteler (VA 8) 14 6.08
Opposition Thomas A. R. Nelson (TN 1) 5 2.17
Opposition John A. Gilmer (NC 5) 3 1.30
Anti-Lecompton Democrat Garnett Adrain (NJ 3) 2 0.87
Anti-Lecompton Democrat John G. Davis (IN 7) 2 0.87
Anti-Lecompton Democrat John B. Haskin (NY 9) 2 0.87
    Others 7 3.04
Total votes: 230 100
Votes necessary: 116 >50
February 1, 1860 – 44th ballot[69]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William Pennington (NJ 5) 117 50.22
Democratic John A. McClernand (IL 6) 85 36.48
Opposition John A. Gilmer (NC 5) 16 6.86
Democratic Martin J. Crawford (GA 2) 4 1.72
Opposition William N. H. Smith (NC 1) 4 1.72
Democratic John McQueen (SC 1) 2 0.86
    Others 5 2.14
Total votes: 233 100
Votes necessary: 117 >50

July 1861[edit]

An election for speaker took place on July 4, 1861, at the start[c] of the 37th Congress, following the 1860–61 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats, and the subsequent secession of several states from the Union at the outset of the Civil War.[h] Galusha A. Grow received a majority of the votes cast on the first ballot and was elected speaker, but only after his chief opponent, Francis Preston Blair Jr., withdrew following the roll call vote, at which time 28 votes shifted to Grow.[71]

1861 election for speaker[72][i]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Galusha A. Grow (PA 14) 99 62.27
Unionist John J. Crittenden (KY 8) 12 7.55
Republican Francis P. Blair Jr. (MO 1) 11 6.91
Democratic John S. Phelps (MO 6) 7 4.40
Democratic Clement Vallandingham (OH 3) 7 4.40
Democratic Erastus Corning (NY 14) 7 4.40
Democratic Samuel S. Cox (OH 12) 6 3.77
Democratic William A. Richardson (IL 5) 3 1.89
Democratic John A. McClernand (IL 6) 2 1.26
Unionist Charles B. Calvert (MD 6) 1 0.63
Unionist John W. Crisfield (MD 1) 1 0.63
Democratic John W. Noell (MO 7) 1 0.63
Democratic George H. Pendleton (OH 1) 1 0.63
Democratic Hendrick B. Wright (PA 12) 1 0.63
Total votes 159 100
Votes necessary 080 >50

December 1863[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1863, at the start of the 38th Congress, following the 1862–63 elections in which Republicans won only a plurality of the seats, but retained control of the House with the assistance of Unconditional Unionist members. Schuyler Colfax received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.

1863 election for speaker[73]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Schuyler Colfax (IN 9) 101 55.49
Democratic Samuel S. Cox (OH 12) 42 23.08
Democratic John L. Dawson (PA 21) 12 6.59
Unionist Robert Mallory (KY 5) 10 5.49
Democratic Henry G. Stebbins (NY 1) 8 4.40
Unionist Austin A. King (MO 1) 6 3.30
Republican Francis P. Blair Jr. (MO 6) 2 1.10
Democratic John D. Stiles (PA 6) 1 0.55
Total votes 182 100
Votes necessary 092 >50

December 1865[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 4, 1865, at the start of the 39th Congress, following the 1864–65 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Schuyler Colfax received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1865 election for speaker[74]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Schuyler Colfax (IN 9) (incumbent) 139 79.43
Democratic James Brooks (NY 8) 36 20.57
Total votes 175 100
Votes necessary 088 >50

March 1867[edit]

An election for speaker took place on March 4, 1867, at the start of the 40th Congress, following the 1866–67 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Schuyler Colfax received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1867 election for speaker[75]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Schuyler Colfax (IN 9) (incumbent) 127 80.89
Democratic Samuel S. Marshall (IL 11) 30 19.11
Total votes 157 100
Votes necessary 079 >50

March 1869 (40th Congress)[edit]

On March 3, 1869, the final full day of the 40th Congress, Schuyler Colfax, who was to be sworn into office as the nation's 17th vice president the next day, resigned as speaker. Immediately afterward, the House passed a motion declaring Theodore Pomeroy duly elected speaker in place of Colfax (for one day).[76]

1869 special election for speaker[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Theodore M. Pomeroy (NY 24) Voice U C

March 1869 (41st Congress)[edit]

An election for speaker took place on March 4, 1869, at the start of the 41st Congress, following the 1868–69 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. James G. Blaine received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.

1869 election for speaker[78]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James G. Blaine (ME 3) 135 70.31
Democratic Michael C. Kerr (IN 2) 57 29.69
Total votes 192 100
Votes necessary 097 >50

March 1871[edit]

An election for speaker took place on March 4, 1871, at the start of the 42nd Congress, following the 1870–71 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. James G. Blaine received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1871 election for speaker[79]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James G. Blaine (ME 3) (incumbent) 126 57.80
Democratic George W. Morgan (OH 13) 92 42.20
Total votes 218 100
Votes necessary 110 >50

December 1873[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 1, 1873, at the start of the 43rd Congress, following the 1872–73 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. James G. Blaine received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1873 election for speaker[80]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James G. Blaine (ME 3) (incumbent) 189 70.26
Democratic Fernando Wood (NY 9) 76 28.25
Democratic Samuel S. Cox (NY 6) 2 0.75
Democratic Hiester Clymer (PA 8) 1 0.37
Democratic Alexander H. Stephens (GA 8) 1 0.37
Total votes 269 100
Votes necessary 135 >50

December 1875[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 6, 1875, at the start of the 44th Congress, following the 1874–75 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Michael C. Kerr, who had just returned to Congress after losing re-election two years earlier, received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[81] This was the first time in 16 years, since 1859, that Democrats controlled the House.[82]

1875 election for speaker[83]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Michael C. Kerr (IN 3) 173 61.35
Republican James G. Blaine (ME 3) (incumbent) 106 37.59
Democratic Alpheus S. Williams (MI 1) 1 0.35
Independent William B. Anderson (IL 19) 1 0.35
Independent Alexander Campbell (IL 7) 1 0.35
Total votes 282 100
Votes necessary 142 >50

December 1876[edit]

Michael C. Kerr died on August 19, 1876,[81] between the first and second sessions of the 44th Congress. Consequently, an intra-term election for a new speaker was held on December 4, 1876, when Congress reconvened. Samuel J. Randall received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[84][85]

1876 special election for speaker[86]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Samuel J. Randall (PA 3) 162 65.59
Republican James A. Garfield (OH 19) 82 33.20
Republican Charles G. Williams (WI 1) 1 0.4
Republican George F. Hoar (MA 2) 1 0.4
Democratic William Ralls Morrison (IL 17) 1 0.4
Total votes 247 100
Votes necessary 124 >50

October 1877[edit]

An election for speaker took place on October 15, 1877, at the start[c] of the 45th Congress, following the 1876–77 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats, and the electoral crisis spawned by the contentious 1876 presidential election. Samuel J. Randall received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[84]

1877 election for speaker[87]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Samuel J. Randall (PA 3) (incumbent) 149 53.03
Republican James A. Garfield (OH 19) 132 46.97
Total votes 281 100
Votes necessary 141 >50

March 1879[edit]

An election for speaker took place on March 18, 1879, at the start[c] of the 46th Congress, following the 1878–79 elections in which Democrats won only a plurality of the seats, but retained control of power with the help of several Independent Democrats. Samuel J. Randall received a slim majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[88]

1879 election for speaker[88][89]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Samuel J. Randall (PA 3) (incumbent) 144 50.88
Republican James A. Garfield (OH 19) 125 44.17
Greenback Hendrick B. Wright (PA 12) 13 4.59
Republican William D. Kelley (PA 4) 1 0.35
Total votes 283 100
Votes necessary 142 >50

December 1881[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 5, 1881, at the start of the 47th Congress following the 1880 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. J. Warren Keifer won a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[90]

1881 election for speaker[91]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican J. Warren Keifer (OH 8) 148 51.93
Democratic Samuel J. Randall (PA 3) (incumbent) 129 45.26
Greenback Nicholas Ford (MO 9) 8 2.81
Total votes 285 100
Votes necessary 143 >50

December 1883[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 3, 1883, at the start of the 48th Congress following the 1882 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John G. Carlisle received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[92]

1883 election for speaker[93]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John G. Carlisle (KY 6) 190 61.69
Republican J. Warren Keifer (OH 8) (incumbent) 113 36.69
Republican George D. Robinson (MA 12) 2 0.66
Republican James W. Wadsworth (NY 27) 1 0.32
Republican Edward S. Lacey (MI 3) 1 0.32
Readjuster John S. Wise (VA at-large) 1 0.32
Total votes 308 100
Votes necessary 155 >50

December 1885[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1885, at the start of the 49th Congress following the 1884 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John G. Carlisle received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[92]

1885 election for speaker[94]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John G. Carlisle (KY 6) (incumbent) 178 56.33
Republican Thomas B. Reed (ME 1) 138 43.67
Total votes 316 100
Votes necessary 159 >50

December 1887[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 5, 1887, at the start of the 50th Congress following the 1886 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John G. Carlisle received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[92]

1887 election for speaker[95]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John G. Carlisle (KY 6) (incumbent) 163 52.24
Republican Thomas B. Reed (ME 1) 147 47.12
Republican Charles N. Brumm (PA 13) 2 0.64
Total votes 312 100
Votes necessary 157 >50

December 1889[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 2, 1889, at the start of the 51st Congress following the 1888 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Thomas B. Reed received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[96]

1889 election for speaker[97]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Thomas B. Reed (ME 1) 166 51.71
Democratic John G. Carlisle (KY 6) (incumbent) 154 47.98
Democratic Amos J. Cummings (PA 9) 1 0.31
Total votes 321 100
Votes necessary 161 >50

December 1891[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 8, 1891, at the start of the 52nd Congress following the 1890 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Charles F. Crisp received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[98]

1891 election for speaker[99]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charles F. Crisp (GA 3) 228 71.47
Republican Thomas B. Reed (ME 1) (incumbent) 83 26.02
Populist Thomas E. Watson (GA 10) 8 2.51
Total votes 319 100
Votes necessary 160 >50

August 1893[edit]

An election for speaker took place on August 7, 1893, at the start[c] of the 53rd Congress following the 1892 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Charles F. Crisp received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[98]

1893 election for speaker[100]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charles F. Crisp (GA 3) (incumbent) 213 62.46
Republican Thomas B. Reed (ME 1) 121 35.49
Populist Jerry Simpson (KS 7) 7 2.05
Total votes 341 100
Votes necessary 171 >50

December 1895[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 2, 1895, at the start of the 54th Congress following the 1894 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Former speaker Thomas B. Reed received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[101]

1895 election for speaker[102]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Thomas B. Reed (ME 1) 240 70.18
Democratic Charles F. Crisp (GA 3) (incumbent) 95 27.78
Populist John C. Bell (CO 2) 6 1.75
Democratic David B. Culberson (TX 4) 1 0.29
Total votes 342 100
Votes necessary 172 >50

March 1897[edit]

An election for speaker took place on March 15, 1897, at the start[c] of the 55th Congress following the 1896 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Thomas B. Reed received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[101]

1897 election for speaker[103]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Thomas B. Reed (ME 1) (incumbent) 200 59.52
Democratic Joseph W. Bailey (TX 4) 114 33.93
Populist John C. Bell (CO 2) 21 6.25
Silver Francis G. Newlands (NV at-large) 1 0.30
Total votes 336 100
Votes necessary 169 >50

December 1899[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 4, 1899, at the start of the 56th Congress following the 1898 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. David B. Henderson received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[104]

1898 election for speaker[105]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David B. Henderson (IA 3) 177 52.68
Democratic James D. Richardson (TN 5) 153 45.54
Populist John C. Bell (CO 2) 4 1.19
Silver Francis G. Newlands (NV at-large) 2 0.59
Total votes 336 100
Votes necessary 169 >50

Elections from 1901 to 1999[edit]

December 1901[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 2, 1901, at the start of the 57th Congress following the 1900 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. David B. Henderson received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.[106]

1901 election for speaker[107]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David B. Henderson (IA 3) (incumbent) 192 55.49
Democratic James D. Richardson (TN 5) 152 43.93
Populist William L. Stark (NE 4) 1 0.29
Democratic Amos J. Cummings (NY 10) 1 0.29
Total votes 346 100
Votes necessary 174 >50

November 1903[edit]

An election for speaker took place on November 9, 1903, at the start[c] of the 58th Congress following the 1902 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Joseph Cannon received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.

1903 election for speaker[108]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph Cannon (IL 12) 198 54.25
Democratic John Williams (MS 8) 167 45.75
Total votes 365 100
Votes necessary 183 >50

December 1905[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 4, 1905, at the start of the 59th Congress following the 1904 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Joseph Cannon received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1905 election for speaker[109]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph Cannon (IL 18) (incumbent) 243 65.50
Democratic John Williams (MS 8) 128 34.50
Total votes 371 100
Votes necessary 186 >50

December 1907[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 2, 1907, at the start of the 60th Congress following the 1906 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Joseph Cannon received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1907 election for speaker[110]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph Cannon (IL 18) (incumbent) 213 56.80
Democratic John Williams (MS 8) 162 43.20
Total votes 375 100
Votes necessary 188 >50

March 1909[edit]

An election for speaker took place on March 15, 1909, at the start[c] of the 61st Congress following the 1908 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Joseph Cannon received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker. Cannon's election to a fourth term as speaker was challenged by a group of dissatisfied progressive Republicans, who voted for other people.[111][112]

1909 election for speaker[113]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph Cannon (IL 18) (incumbent) 204 53.40
Democratic Champ Clark (MO 9) 166 43.46
Republican Henry A. Cooper (WI 1) 8 2.10
Republican George W. Norris (NE 5) 2 0.52
Republican John J. Esch (WI 7) 1 0.26
Republican William P. Hepburn (IA 8) 1 0.26
Total votes 382 100
Votes necessary 192 >50

April 1911[edit]

An election for speaker took place on April 4, 1911, at the start[c] of the 62nd Congress following the 1910 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Champ Clark received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker. This was the first time in 16 years, since 1895, that Democrats controlled the House.[114]

1911 election for speaker[115]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Champ Clark (MO 9) 220 59.78
Republican James R. Mann (IL 2) 131 35.60
Republican Henry A. Cooper (WI 1) 16 4.35
Republican George W. Norris (NE 5) 1 0.27
Total votes 368 100
Votes necessary 185 >50

April 1913[edit]

An election for speaker took place on April 7, 1913, at the start[c] of the 63rd Congress following the 1912 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Champ Clark received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1913 election for speaker[116][117]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Champ Clark (MO 9) (incumbent) 272 66.99
Republican James R. Mann (IL 2) 111 27.34
Republican Victor Murdock (KS 8) 18 4.43
Republican Henry A. Cooper (WI 1) 4 0.99
Republican John M. Nelson (WI 3) 1 0.25
Total votes 406 100
Votes necessary 204 >50

December 1915[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 6, 1915, at the start of the 64th Congress following the 1914 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Champ Clark received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1915 election for speaker[116][118]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Champ Clark (MO 9) (incumbent) 222 52.61
Republican James R. Mann (IL 2) 195 46.21
    Present 5 1.18
Total votes 422 100
Votes necessary 212 >50

April 1917[edit]

An election for speaker took place on April 2, 1917, at the start[c] of the 65th Congress following 1916 elections in which Republicans won a plurality of the seats. Even so, Champ Clark received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker. Democrats were able to retain control of the House by forming a Coalition with third-party (Progressive, Prohibition and Socialist) members.[119]

1917 election for speaker[116][120]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Champ Clark (MO 9) (incumbent) 217 50.70
Republican James R. Mann (IL 2) 205 47.89
Republican Frederick H. Gillett (MA 2) 2 0.47
Republican Irvine Lenroot (WI 11) 2 0.47
    Present 2 0.47
Total votes 428 100
Votes necessary 215 >50

May 1919[edit]

An election for speaker took place on May 19, 1919, at the start[c] of the 66th Congress following 1918 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Frederick H. Gillett received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[121]

1919 election for speaker[116][122]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frederick H. Gillett (MA 2) 228 57.00
Democratic Champ Clark (MO 9) (incumbent) 172 43.00
Total votes 400 100
Votes necessary 201 >50

April 1921[edit]

An election for speaker took place on April 11, 1921, at the start[c] of the 67th Congress following 1920 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Frederick H. Gillett received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1921 election for speaker[116][123]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frederick H. Gillett (MA 2) (incumbent) 297 70.01
Democratic Claude Kitchin (NC 2) 122 29.05
    Present 1 0.24
Total votes 420 100
Votes necessary 211 >50

December 1923[edit]

An election for speaker took place December 3–5, 1923, at the start of the 68th Congress, following the 1922 elections in which the Republicans won a majority of the seats. Frederick H. Gillett received a majority of the votes cast in the 9th ballot and was re-elected speaker. Progressive Republicans had refused to support Gillett for the first eight ballots. Only after winning concessions from Republican conference leaders (a seat on the House Rules Committee and a pledge that requested House rules changes would be considered) did they agree to support him.[124]

1923 election for speaker
December 3, 1923 – 1st ballot[116][125]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frederick H. Gillett (MA 2) (incumbent) 197 47.58
Democratic Finis J. Garrett (TN 9) 195 47.10
Republican Henry A. Cooper (WI 1) 17 4.11
Republican Martin B. Madden (IL 1) 5 1.21
Total votes: 414 100
Votes necessary: 208 >50
December 5, 1923 – 9th ballot[116][126]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frederick H. Gillett (MA 2) (incumbent) 215 51.94
Democratic Finis J. Garrett (TN 9) 197 47.58
Republican Martin B. Madden (IL 1) 2 0.48
Total votes: 414 100
Votes necessary: 208 >50

December 1925[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1925, at the start of the 69th Congress following 1924 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Nicholas Longworth received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker, even though progressive Republicans refused to vote for him.[127]

1925 election for speaker[116][128]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Nicholas Longworth (OH 1) 229 54.52
Democratic Finis J. Garrett (TN 9) 173 41.19
Republican Henry A. Cooper (WI 1) 13 3.10
    Present 5 1.19
Total votes 420 100
Votes necessary 211 >50

December 1927[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 5, 1927, at the start of the 70th Congress following 1926 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Nicholas Longworth received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1927 election for speaker[116][129]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Nicholas Longworth (OH 1) (incumbent) 225 53.96
Democratic Finis J. Garrett (TN 9) 177 42.44
    Present 5 1.20
Total votes 417 100
Votes necessary 209 >50

April 1929[edit]

An election for speaker took place on April 15, 1929, at the start[c] of the 71st Congress following 1928 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Nicholas Longworth received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1929 election for speaker[116][130]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Nicholas Longworth (OH 1) (incumbent) 254 63.82
Democratic John N. Garner (TX 15) 143 35.93
    Present 1 0.25
Total votes 398 100
Votes necessary 200 >50

December 1931[edit]

An election for speaker took place on December 7, 1931, at the start of the 72nd Congress, following the 1930 elections in which Republicans won a one-seat majority. However, during the 13 months between Election Day and the start of the new Congress, 14 members-elect died, including the incumbent speaker, Nicholas Longworth, who died on April 9, 1931. After the Republicans lost four of the special elections called to fill the vacancies, when Congress convened, the Democrats held a three-seat majority in the House. John N. Garner received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[131][132]

1931 election for speaker[116][133]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John N. Garner (TX 15) 218 50.69
Republican Bertrand Snell (NY 31) 207 48.14
Republican George J. Schneider (WI 9) 5 1.17
Total votes 430 100
Votes necessary 216 >50

March 1933[edit]

An election for speaker took place on March 9, 1933, at the start[c] of the 73rd Congress, following the 1932 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Henry T. Rainey received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[134]

1933 election for speaker[116][135]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Henry T. Rainey (IL 20) 302 72.25
Republican Bertrand Snell (NY 31) 110 26.32
Farmer–Labor Paul J. Kvale (MN at-large) 5 1.19
    Present 1 0.24
Total votes 418 100
Votes necessary 210 >50

January 1935[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1935, on the opening day of the 74th Congress,[j] two months after the 1934 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Joseph Byrns received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[138]

1935 election for speaker[116][139]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph Byrns (TN 5) 317 74.41
Republican Bertrand Snell (NY 31) 95 22.30
Progressive George J. Schneider (WI 8) 9 2.11
Republican William P. Lambertson (KS 1) 2 0.47
    Present 3 0.71
Total votes 426 100
Votes necessary 214 >50

June 1936[edit]

Speaker Joseph W. Byrns died suddenly in the early hours of June 4, 1936, during the 74th Congress. Consequently, when the House convened that day, a resolution declaring William B. Bankhead duly elected speaker was adopted by voice vote.[140]

1936 special election for speaker[116][141]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William B. Bankhead (AL 7) Voice U C

January 1937[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 5, 1937, on the opening day of the 75th Congress, two months after the 1936 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. William B. Bankhead received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1937 election for speaker[116][142]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William B. Bankhead (AL 7) (incumbent) 324 76.78
Republican Bertrand Snell (NY 31) 83 19.67
Progressive George J. Schneider (WI 8) 10 2.37
Republican Fred L. Crawford (MI 8) 2 0.47
    Present 3 0.71
Total votes 421 100
Votes necessary 211 >50

January 1939[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1939, on the opening day of the 76th Congress, two months after the 1938 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. William B. Bankhead received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1939 election for speaker[116][143]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William B. Bankhead (AL 7) (incumbent) 249 59.29
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) 168 40.00
Progressive Merlin Hull (WI 9) 1 0.24
Progressive Bernard J. Gehrmann (WI 10) 1 0.24
    Present 1 0.24
Total votes 420 100
Votes necessary 211 >50

September 1940[edit]

Speaker William B. Bankhead died on September 15, 1940, during the 76th Congress. Accordingly, when the House convened the next day, a resolution declaring Sam Rayburn duly elected speaker was adopted by voice vote.[5]

1940 special election for speaker[116][144]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) Voice U C

January 1941[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1941, on the opening day of the 77th Congress, two months after the 1940 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1941 election for speaker[116][145]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 247 60.24
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) 159 38.79
Progressive Merlin Hull (WI 9) 2 0.49
Progressive Bernard J. Gehrmann (WI 10) 1 0.24
    Present 1 0.24
Total votes 410 100
Votes necessary 206 >50

January 1943[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 6, 1943, on the opening day of the 78th Congress, two months after the 1942 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1943 election for speaker[116][146]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 217 50.93
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) 206 48.35
Progressive Merlin Hull (WI 9) 1 0.24
Progressive Harry Sauthoff (WI 2) 1 0.24
    Present 1 0.24
Total votes 426 100
Votes necessary 214 >50

January 1945[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1945, on the opening day of the 79th Congress, two months after the 1944 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1945 election for speaker[147][148]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 224 56.85
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) 168 42.64
    Present 2 0.51
Total votes 394 100
Votes necessary 198 >50

January 1947[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1947, on the opening day of the 80th Congress, two months after the 1946 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Joseph W. Martin Jr. received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker. This was the first time in 16 years, since 1931, that Republicans controlled the House.

1947 election for speaker[148][149]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) 244 57.28
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 182 42.72
Total votes 426 100
Votes necessary 214 >50

January 1949[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1949, on the opening day of the 81st Congress, two months after the 1948 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Former speaker Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.

1949 election for speaker[148][150]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) 255 61.30
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) (incumbent) 160 38.46
    Present 1 0.24
Total votes 416 100
Votes necessary 209 >50

January 1951[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1951, on the opening day of the 82nd Congress, two months after the 1950 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1951 election for speaker[148][151]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 231 54.23
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) 192 45.07
    Present 3 0.70
Total votes 426 100
Votes necessary 214 >50

January 1953[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1953, on the opening day of the 83rd Congress, two months after the 1952 elections in which Republicans won a majority of the seats. Former speaker Joseph W. Martin Jr. received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[152]

1953 election for speaker[148][153]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) 220 51.89
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 201 47.41
    Present 3 0.70
Total votes 424 100
Votes necessary 213 >50

January 1955[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 5, 1955, on the opening day of the 84th Congress, two months after the 1954 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Former speaker Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker, becoming the first member since Henry Clay in the 1820s to have a third stint as speaker.

1955 election for speaker[148][154]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) 228 53.52
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) (incumbent) 198 46.48
Total votes 426 100
Votes necessary 214 >50

January 1957[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1957, on the opening day of the 85th Congress, two months after the 1956 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1957 election for speaker[148][155]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 227 53.04
Republican Joseph W. Martin Jr. (MA 14) 199 46.49
    Present 2 0.47
Total votes 428 100
Votes necessary 215 >50

January 1959[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 7, 1959, on the opening day of the 86th Congress, two months after the 1958 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1959 election for speaker[148][156]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 281 65.19
Republican Charles A. Halleck (IN 2) 148 34.35
    Present 2 0.46
Total votes 431 100
Votes necessary 216 >50

January 1961[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1961, on the opening day of the 87th Congress, two months after the 1960 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Sam Rayburn received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1961 election for speaker[148][157]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sam Rayburn (TX 4) (incumbent) 258 60.00
Republican Charles A. Halleck (IN 2) 170 39.54
    Present 2 0.46
Total votes 430 100
Votes necessary 216 >50

January 1962[edit]

Sam Rayburn died on November 16, 1961, between the first and second sessions of 87th Congress.[5] Consequently, an intra-term election for a new speaker was held on January 10, 1962, when Congress reconvened. John W. McCormack received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[158]

1962 special election for speaker[148][159]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. McCormack (MA 9) 248 59.90
Republican Charles A. Halleck (IN 2) 166 40.10
Total votes 414 100
Votes necessary 208 >50

January 1963[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 9, 1963, on the opening day of the 88th Congress, two months after the 1962 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John W. McCormack received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1963 election for speaker[148][160]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. McCormack (MA 9) (incumbent) 256 59.12
Republican Charles A. Halleck (IN 2) 175 40.42
    Present 2 0.46
Total votes 433 100
Votes necessary 217 >50

January 1965[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 4, 1965, on the opening day of the 89th Congress, two months after the 1964 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John W. McCormack received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1965 election for speaker[148][161]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. McCormack (MA 9) (incumbent) 289 67.52
Republican Gerald Ford (MI 5) 139 32.48
Total votes 428 100
Votes necessary 215 >50

January 1967[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 10, 1967, on the opening day of the 90th Congress, two months after the 1966 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John W. McCormack received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1967 election for speaker[148][162]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. McCormack (MA 9) (incumbent) 246 56.94
Republican Gerald Ford (MI 5) 186 43.06
Total votes 432 100
Votes necessary 217 >50

January 1969[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1969, on the opening day of the 91st Congress, two months after the 1968 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. John W. McCormack received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1969 election for speaker[148][163]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. McCormack (MA 9) (incumbent) 241 56.31
Republican Gerald Ford (MI 5) 187 43.69
Total votes 428 100
Votes necessary 215 >50

January 1971[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 21, 1971, on the opening day of the 92nd Congress, two months after the 1970 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Carl Albert received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.[164]

1971 election for speaker[148][165]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carl Albert (OK 3) 250 58.68
Republican Gerald Ford (MI 5) 176 41.32
Total votes 426 100
Votes necessary 214 >50

January 1973[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1973, on the opening day of the 93rd Congress, two months after the 1972 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Carl Albert received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1973 election for speaker[148][166]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carl Albert (OK 3) (incumbent) 236 55.66
Republican Gerald Ford (MI 5) 188 44.34
Total votes 424 100
Votes necessary 213 >50

January 1975[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 14, 1975, on the opening day of the 94th Congress, two months after the 1974 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Carl Albert received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1975 election for speaker[148][167]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Carl Albert (OK 3) (incumbent) 287 66.43
Republican John J. Rhodes (AZ 1) 143 33.11
    Present 2 0.46
Total votes 432 100
Votes necessary 217 >50

January 1977[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 4, 1977, on the opening day of the 95th Congress, two months after the 1976 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Tip O'Neill received a majority of the votes cast and was elected speaker.

1977 election for speaker[148][168]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tip O'Neill (MA 8) 290 66.82
Republican John J. Rhodes (AZ 1) 142 32.72
    Present 2 0.46
Total votes 434 100
Votes necessary 218 >50

January 1979[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 15, 1979, on the opening day of the 96th Congress, two months after the 1978 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Tip O'Neill received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1979 election for speaker[148][169]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tip O'Neill (MA 8) (incumbent) 268 63.51
Republican John J. Rhodes (AZ 1) 152 36.02
    Present 2 0.47
Total votes 422 112
Votes necessary 212 >50

January 1981[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 5, 1981, on the opening day of the 97th Congress, two months after the 1980 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Tip O'Neill received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1981 election for speaker[148][170]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tip O'Neill (MA 8) (incumbent) 234 55.98
Republican Robert H. Michel (IL 18) 182 43.54
    Present 2 0.48
Total votes 419 100
Votes necessary 210 >50

January 1983[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1983, on the opening day of the 98th Congress, two months after the 1982 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Tip O'Neill received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

1983 election for speaker[148][171]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tip O'Neill (MA 8) (incumbent) 260 62.35
Republican Robert H. Michel (IL 18) 155 37.17
    Present 2 0.48
Total votes 417 100
Votes necessary 209 >50

January 1985[edit]

An election for speaker took place on January 3, 1985, on the opening day of the 99th Congress, two months after the 1984 elections in which Democrats won a majority of the seats. Tip O'Neill received a majority of the votes cast and was re-elected speaker.

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1985 election for speaker[148][172]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tip O'Neill (MA 8) (incumbent) 247 58.11
Republican Robert H. Michel (IL 18) 175 41.18
    Present 3 0.71
Total votes 425 100
Votes necessary 213 >50