The leadership says they have the votes, but projecting an aura of confidence has been a key to their pressure strategy. Bart Stupak says Democrats are 16 votes short, but pessimism has been, well, part of his strategy. So I prefer to actually, you know, count the votes.

The last count had it at 204-208, if you include leaners. Where are we now?

Gabrielle Giffords released a public statement saying “The legislation before us, while far from perfect, represents a needed step forward,” and saying that “when and if” her concerns are satisfied to her satisfaction, she’d be proud to support the bill. That’s as close as you’re going to get to a Yes in this atmosphere, so off the board she goes.

• Actually, you can get a bit closer to Yes – Dan Maffei said he’s voting for the bill, saying that “Doing nothing is no longer an option.”

• Riffing off of my whip count, Nate Silver gets some intelligence on Tim Bishop, who told constituents at a house party last week to write letters in support of reform. Combined with his votes and comments in the Budget Committee yesterday, I’ll move him to yes. (Interesting how the New Yorkers are coming off the board after the SEIU and the Working Families Party made their preference known.)

• I had Scott Murphy, a No vote last time around, listed as a yes, but his press secretary contacted me to say no, he’s truly undecided. Josh Schwerin, Murphy’s Communications Director, tells me, “he is literally reading through the Senate bill and making notes in the margins.” So I’ll put him back to a lean yes. I still think he’ll be there at the end, but this missive from the press aide sounded kind of anguished.

• I never put John Tanner, another retiring Dem and named by White House officials as a likely No-Yes flipper, in the lean Yes category. I’ll do so now.

• Glenn Nye, on the other hand, sounds like a lean No at best.

• Mike McIntyre’s a no, which is where I had him since I started these whip counts. The guy showed up at a right-wing “Prayercast” which was literally praying against the bill.

• There’s a third-hand report from the National Review about Tom Perriello being part of the Stupak bloc. I don’t really buy it. He’s been very tight-lipped about his vote, however, though leadership gave him the main sponsorship on repealing the industry’s anti-trust exemption. I’m thinking he’s a Yes, but I’ll put him in the lean Yes category for now.

• The Hispanic Caucus continues to make noises about voting no due to the immigration provisions, but they’re always leavened with talk of what a tremendous accomplishment this would be, and I just don’t see them not playing along on this.

• HCAN put some new pro-reform ads in rotation that have interesting targets. They include three members not on my board – Bill Foster (D-IL), Jim Costa (D-CA) and Harry Mitchell (D-AZ). Targeting Costa also gets you Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), as they’re in the same media market. I don’t know why they’re doing this – I don’t see these votes in play – but you have to expect they have a bit more information. I’m confident on Costa and Cardoza, but I’ll put Foster and Mitchell into the undecided category.

UPDATE: I should maybe not take these targets so seriously. OFA just sent me a message telling me to call into the district of Republican Dave Reichert in Washington and get supporters of reform to call his office. Now, Dave Reichert is never, ever voting for this bill. Why in the world would any group target him when there are so many other votes out there to get? Probably because OFA is part of the DNC and they don’t want to pressure Democrats. Point being, I think I’ll de-emphasize targeting in my analysis. The advocacy groups appear to be flying blind.

Add all that up, and what do you get? Maffei, Bishop and Giffords are Yes votes; Murphy’s back to lean Yes, John Tanner moves to lean Yes, Glenn Nye moves to lean No, and Perriello, Foster and Mitchell go back onto the board (with Perriello as a lean Yes). So that means there are 190 Yes, 206 No, and there are 15 lean Yes along with 3 lean No votes. So pushing leaners, you’re at 205-209.

You can see why leadership is even looking at the hard No votes. They are still going to need to do a lot of work to get this done.

Raw totals on the flip:

Definite YES:
190 Democrats, including Jason Altmire (D-PA), who voted No last time, in November.

Definite NO:
178 Republicans, including Joseph Cao (R-LA), who voted Yes in November. He’s in the Stupak bloc.

Definite NO:
28 Democrats.

23 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, Rick Boucher, Allen Boyd, John Adler.

5 Democrats who voted Yes in November (confirmed Stupak bloc):
Bart Stupak, Dan Lipinski, Kathy Dahlkemper, Joe Donnelly, Steve Driehaus.

13 potential Democratic No-Yes flip votes:

7 lean Yes:
Bart Gordon, Brian Baird, John Boccieri (Clyburn Three), Suzanne Kosmas, Betsy Markey, Scott Murphy, John Tanner.

5 undecided:
Lincoln Davis, Jim Matheson, Harry Teague, Travis Childers, John Barrow.

1 lean No:
Glenn Nye.

22 potential Yes-No flip votes:

5 additional Stupak bloc (Stupak-curious):
Brad Ellsworth, *Marcy Kaptur, Jerry Costello, Henry Cuellar, *Marion Berry.

8 lean Yes:
Paul Kanjorski, Dina Titus, Betty Sutton, Baron Hill, Allan Mollohan, Bill Owens, Marcy Kaptur, Tom Perriello.

9 other wary Democrats:
Zack Space, Chris Carney, Mike Doyle, Ann Kirkpatrick, Nick Rahall, Solomon Ortiz, Earl Pomeroy, Bill Foster, Harry Mitchell.

2 lean No:
Mike Arcuri, Marion Berry.

Democrats need 26 of a combination of the 13 potential No-Yes flip votes and the 22 potential Yes-No flip votes. So they need 26 out of the remaining uncommitted 35. If you’re counting leaners, Democrats need 11 of the last 17 uncommitted.

Tuesday, 3/16/2010 Voted Retiring Stupak PVI No Leaning No Unknown Leaning Yes Yes
Aye Nay
Definite No (28):
1 Boren, Dan X R+14 1
2 Boucher, Rick X R+11 1
3 Bright, Bobby X R+16 1
4 Chandler, Ben X R+9 1
5 Davis, Artur X D+18 1
6 Edwards, Chet X R+20 1
7 Herseth-Sandlin, Stephanie X R+9 1
8 Holden, Tim X R+6 1
9 Kucinich, Dennis X D+8 1
10 Kissell, Larry X R+2 1
11 Kratovil, Frank X R+13 1
12 Marshall, Jim X R+10 1
13 McMahon, Michael X R+4 1
14 Melancon, Charlie X R R+12 1
15 Minnick, Walt X R+18 1
16 McIntyre, Mike X R+3 1
17 Peterson, Collin X R+6 1
18 Ross, Mike X R+7 1
19 Shuler, Heath X R+6 1
20 Skelton, Ike X R+14 1
21 Taylor, Gene X R+20 1
22 Adler, John X R+1 1
23 Boyd, Allen X R+6 1

24 Dahlkemper, Kathy X S R+3 1
25 Donnelly, Joe X S R+4 1
26 Driehaus, Steve X S D+1 1
27 Lipinski, Dan X S D+11 1
28 Stupak, Bart X S R+3 1
Potential No-Yes Flips (13):
1 Baird, Brian X R D+0 1
2 Barrow, John X D+2 1
3 Boccieri, John X R+4

1

4 Childers, Travis X R+14 1
5 Davis, Lincoln X R+14 1
6 Gordon, Bart X R R+13 1
7 Kosmas, Suzanne X R+4 1
8 Markey, Betsy X R+9 1
9 Matheson, Jim X R+15 1
10 Murphy, Scott X D+2 1
11 Nye, Glenn X R+6 1
12 Tanner, John X R R+6 1
13 Teague, Harry X R+6 1
Potential Yes-No Flips (22):
1 Arcuri, Mike X R+1 1
2 Berry, Marion X S R+8 1
3 Carney, Chris X R+8 1
4 Costello, Jerry X S D+3 1
5 Cuellar, Henry X S D+0 1
6 Doyle, Mike X D+19 1
7 Ellsworth, Brad X S R+9 1
8 Foster, Bill X D+1 1
9 Hill, Baron X R+6 1
10 Kaptur, Marcy X S D+10 1
11 Kanjorski, Paul X D+4 1
12 Kirkpatrick, Ann X R+6 1
13 McNerney, Jerry X R+1 1
14 Mitchell, Harry X R+5 1
15 Mollohan, Alan X R+9 1
16 Ortiz, Solomon X R+2 1
17 Owens, Bill X R+1 1
18 Periello, Tom X R+5 1
19 Pomeroy, Earl X R+10 1
20 Space, Zack X R+7 1
21 Sutton, Betty X D+5 1
22 Titus, Dina X D+2 1
Committed Votes
Democratic 190
Republican 178
TOTAL 206 3 17 15 191

Previous Whip Counts:

Monday, March 15 206 2 19 13 191
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