[Ed. Note: Be sure to listen for David tonight on NPR’s All Things Considered. As they say, check local listings.]
Since we’re getting down to the wire on the health care bill, I’m going to start pushing leaners more forcefully. So here’s where I’m at. A reminder that these are educated guesses, not rote affirmations of public statements. I’m trying to back up the statements with other corroborating information.
The last whip count showed 191 yes, 203 no, with a lot of leaners. I’m going to push a couple of those into the Yes category:
• Scott Murphy. He sounded like a Yes over the weekend, and that came on the heels of a one-on-one meeting with the President, where he cited certain elements he wanted to get him on the bill. In addition, there’s the pressure from the Working Families Party and other advocacy groups in New York. Finally, you have the NRCC no longer targeting his vote. That gets me to yes.
• Jason Altmire. The former hospital executive has gotten more face time by being publicly on the fence than practically anyone in the House. He’s played Hamlet in front of the media, unable to make a decision. But there seemed to be a come-to-Jesus moment recently, when he realized that the Tea Party activists pushing against him on the bill will never become his ally:
But the conversation ran aground when he asked a fundamental question: Shouldn’t the government help low-income people afford basic health insurance?
“No!” most of the visitors shouted.
“Some of you are never going to agree with me,” Altmire said.
That recognition gets me to put him in the Yes camp. The NRCC has also stopped targeting Altmire.
• Other Democrats in the Clyburn crosshairs, targeted to be No-Yes flippers, are not quite there. John Boccieri, a potential swing vote, will skip the President’s health care rally in his home state today, preferring to attend an infrastructure project announcement in his district. We’ll keep him as a lean Yes.
• The NRCC lists some other Democrats on the fence as Yes votes, so you have to at least lean them in that direction. Among them: Baron Hill, Suzanne Kosmas, Allan Mollohan and Bill Owens. They also have Luis Gutierrez and Mike Arcuri as firm No votes, which I’m still not buying (though I’ll make Arcuri a lean No). They have Rick Boucher as a firm No, and I had him as lean No, so I’ll tip him in that direction.
• On the flip side, here’s a NY Times graphic of the seats that Democrats will target this week, and some of them are members I thought were already nailed down. To wit: Dina Titus (D-NV), Betty Sutton (D-OH) and Bob Etheridge (D-NC). I think you have to take them off the board if Democrats are pouring money in there, though I believe all three will get on the bill at the end. We’ll make them lean Yes. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) is also on that list, but I have him as a firm No and I’ve seen nothing to indicate that has changed.
• Steve Driehaus has flipped back into the Stupak bloc, after appearing to flip out of it. He told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he would not budge on the issue of federal funding for abortion. “They are going to have to do it without me and without the other pro-life Democrats,” he said.
Where does that leave us? Make Murphy and Altmire Yes votes. Make Dreihaus and Boucher No votes. Add Titus, Sutton and Etheridge to the undecided category. That puts you at 190 Yes, 205 No. However, we now have 12 lean Yes votes, with only 2 lean No votes. If you push leaners, you’re at 202-207.
Details on the flip. We’re rolling out a graphic, should be ready later today.
178 Republicans, including Joseph Cao (R-LA), who voted Yes in November. He’s in the Stupak bloc.
21 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, Health Shuler, Boucher.
6 Democrats who voted Yes in November (confirmed Stupak bloc):
Bart Stupak, Marion Berry, Dan Lipinski, Kathy Dahlkemper, Joe Donnelly, Steve Driehaus.
14 potential Democratic No-Yes flip votes:
5 lean Yes:
Bart Gordon, Brian Baird, John Boccieri (Clyburn Three), Suzanne Kosmas, Betsy Markey
Glenn Nye, John Tanner, John Adler, Lincoln Davis, Jim Matheson, Harry Teague, Travis Childers, John Barrow.
1 lean No:
22 potential Yes-No flip votes:
4 additional Stupak bloc (Stupak-curious):
Brad Ellsworth, Marcy Kaptur, Jerry Costello, Henry Cuellar.
7 lean Yes:
Paul Kanjorski, Dina Titus, Betty Sutton, Bob Etheridge, Baron Hill, Allan Mollohan, Bill Owens.
10 other wary Democrats:
Zack Space, Chris Carney, Mike Doyle, Ann Kirkpatrick, Nick Rahall, Dan Maffei, Solomon Ortiz, Gabrielle Giffords, Earl Pomeroy, Tim Bishop.
1 lean No:
Democrats need 26 of a combination of the 14 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 22 potential Yes-No flip votes. So they need 26 out of the remaining uncommitted 36. If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 14 of the last 22 uncommitted.
|Monday, 3/15/2010||Voted||Retiring||Stupak||PVI||No||Leaning No||Unknown||Leaning Yes||Yes|
|Definite No (25):|
|Potential No-Yes Flips (14):|
|Potential Yes-No Flips (22):|
Previous Whip Counts:
|Sunday, March 14||203||2||28||7||191|
|Friday, March 12||191||202|
|Thursday, March 11||189||202|
|Wednesday, March 10||191||195|
|Tuesday, March 9||192||194|