ABC's David Chalian reports: President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have each spent some quality time with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in the last 36 hours. They probably have a pretty good idea of what he is going to announce Wednesday morning when he formally declares his voting intentions on health care reform at a 10:00 am press conference.
If he’s been persuaded to vote yes on health care reform this week, he will be the first previous no vote to publicly declare he is flipping to yes.
If every sitting House Democrat who voted for the health care bill in November, voted for it again this weekend, Nancy Pelosi would have the 216 votes she needs to pass it.
However, because of resistance to the Senate bill overall and (for several anti-abortion rights Democrats) specifically its abortion language, Democrats know they will not be able to get all their previous YES votes to vote YES again.
So, the game becomes how many previous YES votes can Democratic leaders afford to lose? The answer to that question is another question, of course.
How many previous NO votes can Democratic leaders definitively flip to YES?
You will see below that there is no margin for error. And this remains somewhat fluid as Pelosi searches for her final handful of votes. But here is a snapshot of the current landscape.
There is a universe of roughly 15 previous YES votes from which Democrats are worried about losing a handful.
Right now, it looks like they can afford to lose NO MORE than 7 of these YES votes most of which will come from the Democratic anti-abortion rights crowd.
But what about previous YES votes that Democrats need to work to keep YES? The White House and Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill are prepared to lose some of these. The first six names below are of most concern to the Democratic leadership and most likely to bolt.
Stupak Carney Rahall Berry Driehaus Arcuri Dahlkemper Pomeroy Ellsworth Hill Grijalva Gutierrez Owens Cardoza Costa
Of the 37 currently serving Democratic members of the House who voted NO on health care in November, there is a highly targeted group of 15 that are publicly undecided that Pelosi hopes she flips from NO to YES to make up for any of the above YES defectors.
Democrats know they will not be able to flip all 15. Probably fewer than 10 are willing to flip on the final vote.
The first nine names listed below are the top tier NO-to-YES targets for the Democratic leadership out of this group of 15. And no Democrat on the Hill seems to think leadership will get all nine of them to flip which is why Democrats are trying to keep their YES defectors above to seven at a maximum.
Baird Gordon Altmire Boccieri Kosmas Murphy Markey Teague Kucinich Tanner Boyd Matheson Nye Barrow Childers Davis - TN