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Nancy Pelosi is poised to win the nomination of her caucus for Speaker of the House, but Wednesday's leadership elections are a precursor to the real drama coming on the first day of the new Congress.

But one House aide said privately Pelosi lacks the votes and is unlikely to get them because there are enough freshmen and incumbents whose political interest is to oppose her on the floor.

Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking woman in the history of United States politics, was easily re-elected on Wednesday (Nov 28) to lead congressional Democrats, a major step on her march toward once again becoming speaker of the House of Representatives.

"Hakeem's election is helpful to Leader Pelosi, because it's the advancement, in a very substantial position, of someone who most people here view as a new leader and really a rising star", said Rep. Brian Higgins of NY, who signed a letter with 15 other Democrats suggesting they would not vote for Pelosi, but endorsed her last week after she pledged to focus on two of his top policy priorities.

Nine members of the caucus are reported to have voted "no", and in a deal struck with Pelosi earlier this week, several have agreed to abstain from the final floor vote on Pelosi's nomination, which will take place in January, rather than express their opposition outright.

A leading critic of Pelosi, Representative Tim Ryan, left a morning session refusing to comment on whether he thought his group of dissenters can stop her from becoming speaker. "We are hopeful Leader Pelosi will invite us back to the table to plan for the future success of the Democratic Party".

"Moments ago we met with Leader Pelosi and tried to engage her in a reasonable conversation about leadership transition", Rice said after Wednesday's meeting.

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Even falling short of 218 votes on Wednesday doesn't mean an end Pelosi's bid to return to the post she held from 2007-2011.

A roll call vote in the full House will occur on January 3 to select the new speaker when the new Congress convenes.

She raised millions of dollars for candidates and kept Democrats focused on their main hot-button issue on the campaign trail: health care. He defeated California Rep. and fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Barbara Lee in a 123-113 vote, winning the No. 5 position in the party's House conference. Only four of them voted against her last time on the House floor, her allies were quick to point out.

If nobody is nominated to challenge Pelosi, there will be a motion to expedite the process with a unanimous consent voice vote, which would mean that there wouldn't be a recorded vote tally. Seth Moulton and Kathleen Rice, who are refusing to back her on the grounds of facilitating new leadership.

Clark also wants to help elevate the newly elected women, many of whom she grew close to during the campaign. "Unfortunately, our concerns were dismissed outright", said Democrat Kathleen Rice of NY.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Jan. 19, 2018. Pelosi's supporters say she's a skilled tactician and can balance the demands of energized progressives pushing for a more liberal policy agenda while protecting centrists members who won traditionally Republican districts.