I’ve got a not-so-crazy hunch that the undecideds are simply waiting for their “deficit reduction” fig leaf from CBO to tumble towards yes, so let’s play pretend optimists while we can. Four whip counts for you to choose from:
1. WaPo sees 149 leaning yes, 205 leaning no, and fully 77 Democrats technically undecided. That’s an absurd number — surely Pelosi’s in the ballpark of 200 private commitments — but it does show you how reluctant House Dems are to embrace this thing until the last possible moment.
2. The Hill has 50 undecideds and 36 Democrats leaning no, which puts opponents within two of killing it. How firm are those no’s, though? Included among the leaners is Luis Gutierrez, who’s talking tough about walking away over amnesty but whom everyone but everyone expects will cave by Saturday. Even so, if their numbers are right and undecideds all vote the same way they did in November, Jeffrey Anderson calculates a final tally of … 207-224.
3. Gabriel Malor, more realistically, claims the true number of undecideds is 26, 16 of whom voted no last time and 10 of whom voted yes. Per his calculation Pelosi needs 24 of them, which puts him in line with The Hill’s shaky assessment that opponents could be as close as two votes away.
4. The lefties at Firedoglake think the real count, including leaners, stands dead even at 208-208 with O-Care in the hands of 15 centrist Democrats. Behold:
Lincoln Davis, Jim Matheson, Harry Teague, Travis Childers, John Barrow, Zack Space, Chris Carney, Brad Ellsworth, Jerry Costello, Henry Cuellar, Nick Rahall, Solomon Ortiz, Earl Pomeroy, Bill Foster, Harry Mitchell.
That’s quite a conservative group, all on the right side of the caucus. I don’t think Kucinich’s announcement really sways any of them; Kirkpatrick, a freshman from a swing district, would actually do more. And as I’ve said repeatedly, it’s the Stupak bloc, or members from it who split off, who will ultimately be in the position to decide this thing.
If they’re right, the actual tally is now 208-209 since Jerry Costello reaffirmed his no vote just within the past few hours. Jim Oberstar, who used to be part of Stupak’s bloc, defected to become a yes within the past few hours too but that was expected and reflected in all of the preceding numbers.
So there you have it. The CBO numbers should be out by tonight and the dominoes falling by tomorrow morning, leading to a heart-achey day indeed at the ol’ Hot Air homestead. Anything the GOP can do in a last-ditch bid to sway some fencesitters, aside from reminding them that the dopey polls warning of liberal anger if this thing fails don’t really apply in swing districts? Well, here’s video of Pence from this morning halfheartedly trying to assure Democrats that this isn’t a now-or-never vote and that bipartisan reform is on tap if they torpedo the Senate bill. I’ve been after the GOP leadership all week to issue make some sort of formal pledge in that regard, but I guess this’ll have to do. Forward the clip to a wavering Blue Dog of your choice.