Where Democrats Stand

Little by little, press reports from around the nation are showing just how difficult the job will be for Democratic leaders to cobble together a majority on health care reform after Labor Day.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how a number of Blue Dogs, Democrats in swing districts and newly-elected House Democrats will be the key votes on health care.

And for now, a number of them are doing about as I expected.

In Georgia for example, Rep. Jim Marshall says he would vote 'no' right now.  Rep. John Barrow has already done that in the Energy & Commerce Committee.

In next door Alabama, you have Rep. Artur Davis - who is running for Governor - making it clear he's a no vote right now.  Rep. Parker Griffith is a 'no' vote for now, as is Rep. Bobby Bright.

Keep going West into Mississippi, where Rep. Gene Taylor said on Monday he will vote no.  Also against the current plans, Rep. Travis Childers.

Here's an interesting rundown with newspaper story links on a number of these members and other Democrats as well - http://bit.ly/XlAI8 -

A couple of others 'no' votes aren't surprises, like Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho, Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Rep. Allen Boyd of Florida.

There are more of those 'no' votes out there on the Democratic side.  If you assume that no more than one GOP'er will vote for a bill with a public option (Cao of Louisiana) then anything over 41 Democratic 'no' votes will kill this bill.

A lot of other Democrats are in play right now.  Many will probably hope they aren't forced to vote on a bill with a public option, since that seems to have little chance at getting through the Senate.

It's going to be an interesting next six weeks of arm twisting and maneuvering.

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