There is a persistent rumor that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is considering resigning rather than running for re-election later this year. The speculation has grown in part by the fact that the Democrats have put up an individual who seems as though they may be a strong challenger for Ryan’s seat.
The rumor was ginned up by a Nevada Republican who stated that the rumor was that Ryan would resign in the next thirty to sixty days. At that time it is assumed in the rumor that House Majority Whip Scalise would take over as the Speaker of the House following a vote on the matter.
The communications office for the Speaker of the House has denied this rumor says CNN. They say that there is no merit to it and that Paul Ryan intends to run a fruitful campaign leading up to the November election. Where this rumor came from or why the Nevada Republican is spreading it are two things that remain unclear. Perhaps there is some political advantage for this individual to have spread such a rumor. If that is true, it is difficult to see what that advantage is.
There is no question that Paul Ryan does not have a completely safe run for re-election in November. He has picked up a strong challenge from the Democrats. His district is the first Congressional district in Wisconsin. This is a traditionally blue state, but it did narrowly vote for Donald Trump in the last election. The particular Congressional district from which Paul Ryan hails is considered a Republican district, but the margin towards Republicans is not huge there.
Ryan has been able to raise more money for his race than any other Republican running for Congress in 2018. That should help him defend the seat pretty well, but no one is taking it for granted at this point. The idea that he might resign rather than run probably gained some traction simply based on the fact that the race is expected to be so competitive. Still, at this very moment it would be a safer bet to assume that Ryan will be re-elected than that his upstart opponent will take the cake. We will have to wait and see if the Speaker really does hold on to his job and what his election path looks like as November approaches nearer and nearer on the calendar.