The main reason Senate Democrats have a prayer of passing health care reform is that not many of them are up for reelection next year, says Nate Silver. Only a third of the Senate is up for re-election in 2010, and most of the Democrats in that group come from liberal states. Only two Democrats up for reelection come from McCain states: Blanche Lincoln and Byron Dorgan.
Dorgan won’t be a problem, Silver writes on FiveThirtyEight. He’s popular, and “something of a policy wonk,” with possible designs on party leadership positions. Lincoln, on the other hand, hails from a state where reform is unpopular, so she’ll probably be the toughest vote to get. Fellow red-staters Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu are also wavering, but Nelson doesn’t face reelection until 2012, and Landrieu not until 2014—a political eternity.