Just a brief word on the church of the savvy smugly saying that whip counts efforts like this are misguided because of all the “wiggle room.” I’m building that into my analysis. I think I’m representing an accurate snapshot in time of where the House is at on this bill. People are going to guess about this anyway, so a whip count that takes into account other information has plenty of value, more than a simple info dump.
In other words, NBC, I’m way ahead of you.
Here’s the last one. Notable developments since then:
• As I wrote earlier today, the Stupak bloc seems to be eroding. Steve Dreihaus, formerly a No, is moving into the undecided camp, while Charlie Wilson and James Oberstar frankly sound like Yes votes. I’m sticking them there and taking them off the board. I’m keeping Marcy Kaptur in with the Stupak-curious camp.
• Ben Chandler is a firm no. Not a surprise – he voted against the bill last time.
• I know that Luis Gutierrez says he’s a no and confirmed it with a statement, but there are too many variables here. Constituents calling his office are hearing something very different. So I’m not taking him off the Yes board, for now. He’s on my watch list.
• Vic Snyder’s a yes, but I think we knew that.
• The Hill’s whip count shows Henry Cuellar telling the Investor’s Business Daily that he’s in the Stupak bloc. First of all, IBD is a crazy organization and not to be trusted. Second, I’ve heard contradictory information on Cuellar, who said he could live with the immigration language and you have to balance the good with the bad. So I’m keeping him at Yes.
• John Spratt saying that Obama’s done a magnificent job with health care makes me think he’ll be there at the end. Also, the reconciliation bill has to go through his Budget Committee. I know he has a real tough re-election fight this time around, but I’m moving him back to Yes.
• The two votes in the House that the leadership may lose specifically because of pairing the student loan bill in reconciliation are Paul Kanjorski and Allen Boyd. They both voted against SAFRA in the House last year. Kanjorski is more crucial, because he was a yes on health care in November. It’s speculative, so they’re still both in the undecided camp.
• Harry Teague’s getting a lot of pressure, but doesn’t yet seem like a firm no.
• CNN pegs Tim Bishop, a former yes vote, as an undecided. That sounds plausible.
If you put that all together, you get 191 Yes votes and 202 No votes, with the rest undecided. Actually, with the erosion of the Stupak coalition, I think that the leadership is in slightly better shape right now than before, although they really need the final language to start whipping in earnest. Then you’ll see some more Yes votes.
The raw totals, on the flip. . . :
19 Democrats who voted No in November:
Bobby Bright, Mike McIntyre, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Walt Minnick, Artur Davis, Chet Edwards, Frank Kratovil, Mike Ross, Dan Boren, Gene Taylor, Larry Kissell, Dennis Kucinich, Collin Peterson, Ike Skelton, Jim Marshall, Mike McMahon, Charlie Melancon, Tim Holden, Ben Chandler.
6 Democrats & Republicans who voted Yes in November (confirmed Stupak bloc):
Bart Stupak, Marion Berry, Dan Lipinski, Kathy Dahlkemper, Joe Donnelly, Joseph Cao (R).
18 potential Democratic No-Yes flip votes:
Jason Altmire, Bart Gordon, Glenn Nye, Brian Baird, John Tanner, Rick Boucher, Allen Boyd, John Boccieri, Suzanne Kosmas, Betsy Markey, John Adler, Scott Murphy, Lincoln Davis, Jim Matheson, Harry Teague.
3 less possible:
Travis Childers, Heath Shuler (severe lean no), John Barrow.
20 potential Yes-No flip votes:
4 additional Stupak bloc (Stupak-curious):
Steve Driehaus, Brad Ellsworth, Marcy Kaptur, Jerry Costello.
16 other wary Democrats:
Mike Arcuri, Zack Space, Chris Carney, Mike Doyle, Paul Kanjorski, Ann Kirkpatrick, Alan Mollohan, Nick Rahall, Dan Maffei, Bill Owens, Dennis Cardoza, Baron Hill, Solomon Ortiz, Gabrielle Giffords, Earl Pomeroy, Tim Bishop.
Democrats need 25 of a combination of the 18 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 20 potential Yes-No flip votes. So they need 25 out of the remaining uncommitted 38.