Gulp: At least 10 House Democrats may flip from no to yes on ObamaCare

They need 216 to pass it. They’ve got that right now in theory, but not in practice: Stupak plus some undetermined number of yeses — 15 to 20, by his count — are voting no this time, which means Madam Speaker needs to flip the same number of no votes the other way.

She’s getting close. Maybe.

In interviews with the AP, at least 10 of the 39 Democrats [who voted no] — or their spokesmen — either declined to state their positions or said they were undecided about the revised legislation, making them likely targets for intense wooing by Pelosi and Obama. Three of them — Brian Baird of Washington, Bart Gordon of Tennessee and John Tanner of Tennessee — are not seeking re-election this fall.

The others are Rick Boucher of Virginia, Suzanne Kosmas of Florida, Frank Kratovil of Maryland, Michael McMahon of New York, Walt Minnick of Idaho, Scott Murphy of New York and Glenn Nye of Virginia. Several lawmakers’ offices did not reply to the AP queries…

Democratic leaders have asked colleagues not to use the term “reconciliation” but instead to refer to the process as “majority vote,” said Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa. They also are frequently using the term “up or down vote.”

Lefty Jonathan Chait thinks the fact that fencesitters are willing to go on the record about their fencesitting bodes well for a flip. Does it? This site did a comprehensive analysis of all 39 Democratic no’s earlier today and declared Walt Minnick a likely lost cause given how tough his reelection fight is. Boucher and Kratovil also come from districts so heavily Republican that a flip to yes would probably be a kamikaze mission. Couldn’t it be that some of these people want their names out there now simply to raise the profile of their vote when they tell Obama and Pelosi no later on? The “I considered voting yes but ultimately followed my constituents’ wishes” pitch packs a dramatic punch for a Democrat who’s in trouble.

Exit question: If they’re this close on the votes, why’s The One rolling out a “much smaller” bill on Wednesday? Go big and twist some arms, Nancy!

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