Nate Silver sees Boehner's recent failure as a bad omen. "Recent history doesn’t bode well for him," Silver concludes as he looks at the experience of past speakers.
Mr. Boehner received the votes of 95 percent of his caucus. Is that really that humiliating?
Judged against recent history, at least, the answer is yes. Mr. Boehner’s 95 percent support level might not seem that terrible, but the vote for speaker has historically been a fait accompli. The 12 defections Mr. Boehner suffered are more than in any other speaker’s election in over two decades. Our database shows all votes for speaker since 1991 and Mr. Boehner is just the third speaker since then to face more than one defection. And since the 102nd Congress was sworn at the beginning of 1991, no representative elected speaker has received a smaller share of his or her party’s vote. ...538, NYT
Boehner in many ways was the face of the Republican party's leadership for at least the past year. How could the dislocations of the past weeks not take a toll, not just on Boehner but on the party as a whole? Politicians who are pummeled by the opposition (like President Obama) tend to emerge stronger -- vide the most recent election results. Politicians who take hits from their sometime supporters don't do so well, do they?