He's well liked within the GOP Caucus, but Howell won't last much longer if he can't start winning some elections for Republicans.
When Howell took office:
64 GOP, 34 DEM, 2 IND
NOW: 56 GOP, 40 DEM, 3 IND, 1 Vacant
Chris Peace, and his effort to hold Ryan McDougle's seat for the GOP could be the line in the sand for Bill Howell to remain Speaker.